Framing student evaluations of university learning and teaching : discursive strategies and textual outcomes
Keywords130103 Higher Education
evaluation in higher education
discourses of evaluation
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AbstractEvaluation in higher education is an evolving social practice, that is, it involves what people, institutions and broader systems do and say, how they do and say it, what they value, the effects of these practices and values, and how meanings are ascribed. The textual products (verbal, written, visual, gestural) that inform and are produced by, for and through evaluative practices are important as they promulgate particular kinds of meanings and values in specific contexts. This paper reports on an exploratory study that sought to investigate, using discourse analysis, the types of evaluative practices that were ascribed value, and the student responses that ensued, in different evaluative instruments. Findings indicate that when a reflective approach is taken to evaluation, students’ responses are more considered, they interrogate their own engagement in the learning context and they are more likely to demonstrate reconstructive thought. These findings have implications for reframing evaluation as reflective learning.
Copyright/LicenseCopyright 2014 Taylor & Francis
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Evaluation as a Powerful Practices in Digital Learning ProcessesSørensen, Birgitte Holm; Levinsen, Karin (2015)The present paper is based on two empirical research studies. The Netbook 1:1 project (2009–2012), funded by the municipality of Gentofte and Microsoft Denmark, is complete, while Students’ digital production and students as learning designers (2013–2015), funded by the Danish Ministry of Education, is ongoing. Both projects concern primary and lower secondary school and focus on learning design frameworks that involve students’ agency and participation regarding digital production in different subjects and cross-disciplinary projects. Within these teacher-designed frameworks, the students perform as learning designers of learning objects aimed at other students. Netbook 1:1 has shown that digital and multimodal production especially facilitates student-learning processes and qualifies student-learning results when executed within a teacher-designed framework, which provides space for and empowers students’ agency as learning designers. Moreover, the positive impact increases when students as learning designers participate in formative evaluation practices. Traditionally, the Danish school has worked hard to teach students to verbalise their own academic competencies. However, as our everyday environment becomes increasingly complex with digital and multimodal technologies, formative evaluation as a learning practice becomes central, requiring the students to develop a digital and multimodal literacy beyond the traditional, language-centred type. In order to clarify these practices, we address the various understandings of evaluation and assessment that may blur our arguments. Students’ digital production and students as learning designers is a large-scale project that follows up on the findings of Netbook 1:1. It experiments further with various evaluation practices in a digitalised learning environment that focuses on different phases of the learning processes and includes feed-forward and feedback processes. Evaluation as a learning practice in a digitalised learning context focuses on students as actors, addressing their self-reflections, responses to feedback from peers and feed-forward processes, and responses to feedback from teachers and feed-forward processes. We find that apart from teacher initiated and planned evaluations, the teachers find it useful to initiate ad-hoc evaluations in order to grab interesting aspects on the fly. At the same time we see students initiate ad-hoc peer-evaluations and make appointments for swopping their work for peer-evaluation.