Thursday, October 14, 2010

Personal learning environments and assessment

This is "assessment/evaluation" week for #PLENK2010. It's the usual knotty problem: How do we know that participants in PLENK2010 have gained knowledge? Who cares? Personally I hate grading. As an instructor I would rather be responsible for responding, suggesting, cajoling - or whatever it takes to ask students to new considerations - not grading! But... being uneasy about judging the work of others is sort of wimpy, isn't it? The institution, employers, etc. want an estimation of how well a student has grasped the info presented in a course of study. Can I abdicate that responsibility when I've agreed to teach a course? No! So...if students are doing... personal learning networks and using a variety of tools - blogs, wikis, discussion boards, emails, media, documents, etc. - how do you as an instructor track all of that and provide a fair assessment? The readings available for this week (5) were philosophical - but I'm also interested in the logistics.

For me personally: I'm doing PLENK2010 just because. I don't need to be evaluated or certified or any of that. I attended the Elluminate session on October 13 and some participants were expressing frustration with all the material and trying to figure out if they were getting it or not. That's interesting because the moderators have reiterated that PLENK2010 is what you make of it. There's no particular body of knowledge to regurgitate. Somehow... the participants have some expectations about something that's called a "course"?

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