Landing : Athabascau University
  • Files
  • Jon Dron
  • What we teach, what a student learns, what we assess

What we teach, what a student learns, what we assess

A Venn diagram of overlapping but distinct aspects of institutional teaching and learning


  • Timothy MacArthur October 31, 2018 - 3:32pm

    By this definition, do we define a "good" student by assessment only?

  • Jon Dron October 31, 2018 - 4:59pm

    I very sincerely hope not! See for the slides from which I took this graphic, and a brief explanation of them. The point of this is to illustrate how there's quite a big mismatch between what we teach, what a student learns, and what we assess. We mostly focus on the intersections of the sets, especially those relating to assessment (our 'perfect' outcome is normally the intersection of all three sets) whereas I suggest we should instead focus on everything that a student learns - to discover outcomes rather than to impose them and punish failure to meet them. It's not about jumping hurdles or judging success or failure to meet teachers' expectations. It's about what that really matters: the learning that happens.

  • Mary McNabb November 1, 2018 - 7:01am

    Thinking about how this diagram changes when the we is students (with some guidance from the teacher). Stay tuned for more on this :-)


  • Jon Dron November 1, 2018 - 9:27am

    Interesting point, Mary - I, of all people, should have thought about that! I was aiming the talk at teachers teaching in a conventional (well - as conventional as AU gets) context and so 'us and them' vocabulary seemed appropriate, but a more realistic systems diagram of all of this would reveal a very different picture. Even in this diagram, part of my point is exactly that teaching is always, and irreducibly, distributed. I don't think a more accurate rendition would be a Venn diagram any more, though.

  • Mary McNabb November 1, 2018 - 8:59pm

    I agree about the Venn diagram, Jon, so I madea Doodly (my new toy) to record my very basic interpretation of what you were saying. I'd be interested in your thoughts. An Interpretation of teaching/learning/assessment posted by Jon Dron_31_10_18