Some (tweetable and challenging) highlights from Eric Mazur @EduTech 2015:
- “Using low cognition methods of learning like flash card memorisation leads to information retention of only 35% after 1 week. “
- “Even with the best of intentions, a student’s learning habits are driven by bad assessment”
- “99% of approaches to assessment is focused on the regurgitation of memorised information and cookbook procedures. Instead of developing 21st century skills, most assessment is mostly focused on ranking, sorting, labelling, ass-covering, etc…”
- “In many ways, exams and current assessment are the silent killers for education innovation.”
- Instead of teaching students to become risk averse, we need to teach our students how to learn to enable them to be parachuted into the chaos of the real world and create value from nothing.
Before we begin this deep dive with Eric Mazur into Assessment, let’s first ask the essential question, why assess at all? How many reasons can you think of?
So, what’s the point of assessment?
Eric proposes 7 main reasons for why we assess our students today, to:
- Rate the students in terms of their peers
- Rate the teacher in the eyes of the department
- Motivate students to keep up with work
- Provide feedback on a student’s own learning to see where to improve
- Provide feedback to the instructors on where students are at
- Provide instructional accountability
- Improve the teaching and learning
What’s interesting, is that If you look at the above list, the verbs contradict somewhat. We have ‘rate’ students but ‘improve teaching and learning’.
The Problems of Assessment
Firstly, test are inauthentic and aimed at grading knowledge and much of it factual.
Secondly, even assessment that claims to test problem solving skills do not really do so and encourages in-authentic problem solving.
Why? Well, if we take a classic textbook problem it will pose a problem and ask the student to come up with the outcome.
However, if you think about a real world everyday problem you have to solve, you always usually know the outcome you want to obtain, you have some objective.
The desired outcome is known. The question is – how do you get there?
Have you ever said to yourself…
“I love Clickview, I love SlideShare, I love TED Talks, I LOVE IT ALL, I just hate having to send a bunch of links or individual resources out and my students have to go to so many different websites!”
But what if you could send all your students to a single place?
What if your students could in this single place access your handpicked links and resources in a highly engaging learning sequence that wasn’t death by hyperlink?
And what if you could see exactly where each student was at in real time?
This is no longer a ‘what if’ with myEd’s new ‘embed gadget’!
With myEd’s new ‘embed gadget’ you can now simply copy and paste any embed code from any resource around the web into myEd, and we’ll magically embed it into your quest. Say goodbye to sharing resources through death by hyperlink!
This way, you can share your Clickview videos, TED Talks, Slideshares and more in beautiful visual learning experiences (which we call quests) and get immediate feedback on exactly where each of your students are!
Learning online can be a lonely experience. You navigate through some activities, watch a video, read some material and answer some questions.
All by yourself.
Want to have a discussion with a peer? You’ve got to either use a completely separate tool (Facebook Groups or Edmodo), or you’ve got to click a tab which takes you into a forum.
And immediately your focus is broken and fragemented. You’ve moved away from the learning experience.
But this isn’t what real authentic learning looks like – where as you read or watch a video in class you can turn to your friend and ask a question, debate a point, get clarification. Immediately. It’s contextually relevant to the information and content you’re currently learning and exploring.
And that’s why we’ve introduced inline social discussions in myEd to create an intrinsically social learning experience for your students!
At Expanded Learning Horizon’s (ELH) Changerous Ideas Conference down in Lorne, Victoria, Gary Stager, author of Invent to Learn delivered a thought provoking presentation with a key challenge for educators to ask ourselves:
How do I make school today the best 7 hours of a kids life?
How do I make school something that a kid wakes up in the middle of night wanting to go to school to work on something that means something to them?
Here’s some of Gary’s suggestions for how to make this possible:
1. Technology is a Game Changer
At Expanded Learning Horizon’s (ELH) Changerous Ideas Conference down in Lorne, Victoria, Stephen Harris, Principal at Northern Beaches Christian School, and Founder of the Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning delivered the final keynote address exploring the question:
What will education look like in 2030?
Here are our 5 key take-outs from Stephen’s keynote:
1. Schools must be part of the real world
The phrase “wait until you get into the real world” is often heard around schools, but schools need to become part of the real world – as after all that’s exactly what schools are meant to be equipping students for. The irony is that to do this we remove young people from the real world and this divide that’s been allowed to continue is damaging.