In our system so much hangs on the value given to our assessments leading to qualifications. As we seek to measure learning with some degree of accuracy, we risk losing contact with the meaning of what the nature of the learning is. Our increasing need for measures that are reproducible, consistent and transparent decreases our capacity to accept the inherent uncertainty in the whole enterprise. In our attempt to create a fair system where everyone knows what the standards are, we impose a framework that is outwardly rigid and linear relative to the fuzzy, dynamic nature of the processes we are measuring. In our classrooms we create clouds of learning – ephemeral, shape-shifting, finite but with indefinite boundaries – and then try to count them up like building blocks. It leads to all kinds of problems.
Here are some things to think about:
The value of marks.
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