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It is indeed an interesting report, well worth sharing.
See too my commentary at https://landing.athabascau.ca/blog/view/1088798/niggles-about-ngdles-lessons-from-elf, which has links to this whitepaper, to my earlier comments on it, and to Tony Bates's thoughts on the idea that started the conversation. See also some excellent analysis by Michael Feldstein at http://mfeldstein.com/the-educause-ngdle-and-an-api-of-ones-own/ which goes into a lot of technical depth and detail on where the dragons lie in all this.
The paper describes how many of us think we should be thinking about building systems to support online learning - indeed, I have been saying so for well over 10 years - though I and others are a bit concerned that it will repeat the mistakes made in earlier projects of a similar nature, especially on the very similar and even higher profile ELF project over 10 years ago. It's the right way to build learning systems but perhaps a lighter-touch approach to standards would be wise.
Jon Dron 6 hours ago
Thanks for the sharing Sandra. Classroom got lots of limitation. This reminds me Ken Robinson's TED talk: Do schools kill creativity?
I think we should promot more real-world projects, situated learning, etc ...
Hongxin Yan 9 hours ago
As long as we have a good way to evaluate students' performance, not necessarily final exam. It all depends on the learning outcomes of the courses. For example, if you want students to remember something, if you don't use exam, you'd better provide other effective alternatives for students to show it, otherwise you don't design such learning outcomes in courses.
So, the main question might not be whether we need final exam, but to ask ourselves what our students really need to learn or master from my courses?
Hongxin Yan 8 hours ago
It is absolutely true that memorization of facts is an important aspect of quite a lot of skills. There are occasions where it is impractical or impossible to rely on others for help or information, where we just need to remember stuff: surgery, sailing, even making a philosophical argument, for instance. There are likely many more occasions where I would consider it a sign of gross incompetence not to talk with others or look it up online. But, if it's memory we are assessing, then it's the application of what students remember that we need to assess, and that has to be in an authentic context, or at least the nearest thing to it that we can afford or safely manage. There is less than no point in assessing people's ability to regurgitate facts in a setting so far removed from any realistic context that it tells us nothing about their actual competence at all. Quite apart from their terrible effects on intrinsic motivation, the ways they prevent smart people from being recognized, and their outlandish costs (always additional to learning and always detrimental to it - a double whammy), exams don't even do what they are supposed to do most of the time.
There are plenty of exam-like assessments that do provide quite authentic conditions - doing things in labs, talking about the subject with an expert, operating simulations, writing code on a net-connected computer, writing to a deadline, doing things in studios, building stuff in workshops, etc - it depends on the subject which are appropriate in any given context. There are even some traditional written exam formats that make a bit of sense - my colleague Richard Huntrods's exemplary use of exams to reflect on the work done in the course, for example, which is a useful learning activity in itself and which is relatively unthreatening and so reduces some of the more obvious harmful effects. My target is the typical unseen, proctored, written exam of which we are unaccountably over-fond in both higher education and schools. We have to get rid of those or, at the very least, make them justified rare exceptions rather than the default method of assessment
Jon Dron 6 hours ago