Higher Education assessment and learning

With Professor Richard Winter at Ultralab today discussing the implications of his work on patchwork texts (Guardian article) and how it is interpreted by the Ultraversity project.

Some key lessons for me:

The notion of reflection is better viewed as a reflexive paradigm. That is the ability to look at ones own practice analytically and identify the peculiarities and key ideas that it embodies. Crucially, the next step is to share this with others in a way that is accessible to an audience. This last step is crucial in that it greatly enhances the individual’s understanding of what they have found through having the discipline of having to communicate with others.

The patchwork process should be a liberating and enlightening way to help learners imagine how they might develop their practice.

A patchwork checklist (developed by Gill, Gina, Lesley, Ian):
– is the work professionally enlightening for the writer
– artistically satisfying for the reader
– satisfying the requirements for the academic examiner

A retrospective commentary should identify the learing journey and the position arrived at identifying what is and, perhaps more importantly, what is not understood. Arriving at this position too early risks closing down and narrowing the inquiry when the ‘best’ outcome might be the identification of the next set of questions. There is a danger in trying to impose a cohesive commentary throughout the patchwork with conclusions and fixed positions where none exists!

Lecturers arrive with values and beliefs and this will tend to corrupt innovative ideas and ‘normalise’ back to the established position.

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