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SXSWedu 2014

Grades Are Stupid. Let's Talk about Assessment!

Grades are stupid. Grades as extrinsic motivation prevent organic and flexible learning. Learning is complicated. Learning environments are equally complex. Yet educational institutions continue to reduce measurement, evaluation, and development of learning to simple letters and numbers. The problem is in how people understand assessment. Assessment is not assigning grades. It is capturing where a learner is and adjusting learning environment to best serve and meet learning goals. This is more important than simply passing a test. Many recently emerging technologies, such as iPad screencasting, have demonstrated the capability to support the assessment of complexity, and it is the role of educational technology developers to work to rise to this challenge rather than try to reduce the the learning journey to stupid grades. This panel presents theoretical, research-based, and practical examples and ideas to inspire important future dialogue and decisions.

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  1. What role does educational technology have in shaping understanding of assessment of learning, especially qualitative formative assessment (and why are grades stupid)?
  2. How can you measure complexity using student creation and authoring of multimedia, such as screencasting, sound recording, and movie making?
  3. How do you use multimedia to bridge distance and time, and construct a mediated dialogue to capture all of the previously immeasurable aspects that contribute to how a teacher knows what a student understands?



Reshan Richards, Director of Educational Technology, Teachers College, Columbia University

Meta Information:

  • Tags: research
  • Event: EDU
  • Format: Solo Presentation
  • Track: Standards, Assessment & Accountability
  • Session Focus Area
  • Level: Intermediate
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