Read the first part on Assessment in a Connectivist MOOC
If we as educators are encouraging the learners to learn using the PLN/E, then the assessment rubrics have to reflect on the application of those tools and the “quality of connections and learning”. These would also include the strategies that one could adopt in the development of connections with networks, resources and people.
To bring technology into this, one of the ways in which this expertise can be determined is through the use of a digital tool, like an e-portfolio/blog, published openly on the web. Learners document their own journey of discovery and provide open evidence of that journey in the form of personal publishing, creation, and active participation within the community. You want to prove you know something? Then connect with the experts in that field and engage with them. The Internet is facilitating connections between those that know with those that want to know. People become practitioners in a field not because they earned a paper at a university, but because they are actively engaging with others who are involved in that field, and get recognized as a valued member of that community by the community.
I thought I would take a stab at defining what connectivist metrics could include. Having read in Stephen’s post, Connectivist Dynamics in Communities, that connectivist networks produce connective knowledge and that four elements (autonomy, diversity, open-ness and interactivity & connectedness) distinguish a knowledge-generating network from a mere set of connected elements, I thought it would make sense to start here.
Initially, my role as a teacher was limited to first presenting the material (and engaging the students by initiating conversations) and then marking their work. I was absent from that rich part that happened in the middle where the students continued our classroom conversations online by brainstorming on their blogs, requesting and providing feedback, and engaging in conversations about some of the key ideas in the course. Instead of engaging with them, I just waited for them to submit their work.
But – there *is* assessment; and the nature of it in a MOOC is extremely interesting and complex. We are continually assessing ourselves and our learning, as we write and read and talk to fellow participants and make connections. And we are assessing other’s learning as we read their blogs (and their comments on our blogs) and respond to their ideas. We are even probably engaging in a form of normative assessment as we scan through
An interesting exercise would be to go through some of the feedback I’ve received in this way from other participants and to identify how it has contributed to my learning – because this really *is* assessment for learning (notwithstanding the points I make in the next paragraph). I also see it as a form of gift exchange; as we ‘gift’ each other feedback the gift keeps moving, and *keeps giving* as we all continue to gain something from it.
When students are independent lifelong learners, they can become better at judging their own work.
” If you really want to improve learning, get students to give one another feedback. Giving feedback is cognitively more demanding than receiving feedback. That way, you can accelerate learning.”
I agree with that and always used peer-assessment. Students did not like it but afterward were content – organizing feedback is one of facilitator’s job. I suppose that better ways to assess and give feedback to each other are factors that make online teaching better than f2f.