Activities, assignments and assessment/Teaching learners to notice

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Royce Saddler describing an activity for getting students to notice quality. Copy on Based on his book chapter - Reworking the Concept of Feedback: Teaching Learners to Notice. Get the full audio of Royce's presentation to the University of Canberra.

Royce Sadler talk excerpt, reused with permission, for AAAOpenConf2013.

Based on his book chapter - Reworking the Concept of Feedback: Teaching Learners to Notice.

Audio of Royce Sadler speaking about his work on methods of formative assessment and managing workload


Traditional tutorials abandoned - "I hoped they learned something"

Is it any good? How can we know? Am I qualified to judge other students' work?

What advice can I give to help the other person make it better?

Become better at making judgements - thinking critically - becoming more aware.

A = abominable - B = Brilliant somewhere in between ? - what does it mean to notice things in other student's work ? Set criteria = lens through which things are viewed in setting a mark / responding to task.

Royce includes his own work in the mix "so that they see what is the best I can do".

Value of feedback: Each week a 300 word distillation of sources about a solution for a problem encountered in course material. 1 page; each student brought 3 copies, unnamed to class; papers randomised and passed on. Then Royce asked the question: Is it good? To which students would shrug and say 'Where's the criteria?'. But the criteria is what the students provided, along with appraisal and advice to the original producer of the paper. Randomised again and used same process.

Improving judgement: Peer feedback as a normative/corrective process ... taking notice. The distortion effect of giving numerical marks; maybe better to use a spectrum or scale.

Learning to assess without criteria ... or with limited criteria, and questioning why that particular criteria makes sense. Hard to codify what matters. Royce himself takes the task, to test whether it is worth marks - but to have the students assess his work (!). Not necessarily to benchmark ...

"Some of the things we ask them to detect may not matter." "If we give them criteria, they may end up writing to the criteria, seeing the world through rose colored glasses".

There is always inbuilt criteria and the task assists students to articulate criteria.

Still subjective elements - judgement based on practice - guild knowledge that will have guidelines that are articulated for common understanding.