The problem is the assessments

Here are my thoughts on his statement and a bit of brainstorming to take it further:

First off — why do we need to change our assessment model? What’s wrong with testing? I thought learning scientists love tests.

So what is real learning?

That seems like a whole new post, but let’s say that real learning happens when a person changes and becomes someone new in relation to themselves and the world. I think of learning as the expansion or change of self. Most changes in life draw not only on the possession of knowledge but also skills like self confidence, teamwork, creativity, and other cognitive, inter- and intrapersonal skills. Here is an interesting definition of learning by Lave and Wegner who explain that all of this is embedded within a social or community context:

Changing assessments to encourage real learning

If we want to change the structure of industrial education we’ve got to change the system built around assessments. What are some options?

  • User logs (in digital games and interfaces) — see what people do and what they’re capable of by analyzing their digital footprint/actions in class or games.
  • Mastery demonstration — that moment when you can do the math problem perfectly nearly every time. Khan Academy, for instance, measures this. This is very similar to traditional testing in some areas.
  1. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1998). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge University Press.



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