Personalisation of Assessment

November 21, 2008

Traditional assessment models in education often not only clarify the learning outcomes from the assessment, but also the mode of assessment.

For example

Write an essay on the impact of shrinking consumer income on supermarkets.

The learning outcome is quite clearly demonstrate your understanding of how falling consumer incomes will impact on the supermarket business.

But why does it have to be supermarkets?

But why does it have to be an essay?

Couldn’t the learner choose and be actively involved in designing their own assessment and therefore their own learning.

One learner may for example want to produce a radio show (podcast) which demonstrates that they understand how falling consumer incomes will impact on radio stations.

Another learner may want to have an online discussion with others on the impact of falling incomes on the places where they work.

Of course this may make assessment more challenging for the assessor, so how do we deal with that?


Personalised Learning – a challenge

February 17, 2008

The US National Academy of Engineering asked eighteen influential thinkers what they thought were the great technological challenges facing humanity in the 21st century.Personalised Learning - a challenge

Now while the press like the BBC have focussed on the nanobots and artificial intelligence papers, the one that (obviously) interested me was the challenge of personalised learning.

Some learners are highly self-motivated and self-driven, learning best by exploring a realm of knowledge on their own or at least with very little guidance. Other learners prefer some coaching and a more structured approach; they are typically self-motivated when the subject matter appeals to their interests. Still another type is more often motivated by external rewards and may learn best with step-by-step instruction. Some may resist learning altogether and have little motivation or interest in achieving goals established by others.

These general categorizations provide a base for developing personalized instruction, but truly personalized learning could be even more subtly individualized. Within the basic types of learners, some prefer to learn by example, others by finding answers to questions, and others by solving problems on their own. Under different conditions, people might even switch their preferences, preferring examples in some contexts but questions in others.

Read the full article.