Quote of the day

I’m reading for the literature review for my PhD, so expect some gems in the next week or so!

In searching for more information about the background to our use of interactive computer-marked assessment at the Open University I came across the following paper by Adrian Kirkwood and Linda Price:

Kirkwood, A., & Price, L. (2005). Learners and learning in the twenty‐first century: what do we know about students’ attitudes towards and experiences of information and communication technologies that will help us design courses?. Studies in Higher Education, 30(3), 257-274.

It’s quite an old paper but you don’t need to get beyond the abstract for the following quote:

The conclusion is that, although ICTs can enable new forms of teaching and learning to take place, they cannot ensure that effective and appropriate learning outcomes are achieved. It is not technologies, but educational purposes and pedagogy, that must provide the lead, with students understanding not only how to work with ICTs, but why it is of benefit for them to do so.

I think there are two separate but very important points here. Firstly, we should always be driven by a desire to improve our students’ learning and certainly not by what is, or we hope might be, technologically possible. Secondly, there’s that point about telling students why we want them to do something. That’s the same with assessment – I think that there is often very poor alignment between what lecturers think assessment is for and what students think assessment is for, and we need to do something about it.

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