Archive for May 10, 2010

Criteria collection

Posted in FILM, literature, Politics with tags on May 10, 2010 by dcairns

Light posting this week as it’s a busy time: working on a screenplay and marking 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students at college. This latter task is made somewhat trickier because the criteria we have to use are written in a foreign language known as academese, and have to apply to all students, whether they’re filmmakers, graphic designers, photographers or painters. Obviously, finding assessment criteria which apply equally to a film, a postage stamp, a piece of glassware or an installation based on a life-sized reconstruction of a WWII bomb shelter, is pretty tricky. A certain vagueness seems unavoidable (and WHY can’t we simply use language appropriate to each discipline?) — but even so, I think you’ll find the following as fatuous as I do:

A: The student has theorized, generalised and hypothesised in the context of their discipline and its relationship with other disciplines in ways appropriate to the problem, situation or theme of inquiry. Connections have been made both within and beyond the brief. Learning can be applied to unfamiliar situations or problems and may extend current theory. It is questioning, speculative and reflective.

B: The student has analysed, evaluated and /or applied a range of concepts and theories to familiar, and a few unfamiliar situations, problems or themes of enquiry. Resolutions and conclusions are mainly complex, and result from understanding in depth. Learning demonstrates a fully integrated and /or contextualised knowledge structure.

C: The student has demonstrated an ability to visualise, describe and /or combine established concepts and theories. Learning makes several varying relationships and connections. A few resolutions and conclusions may be complex and original, and result from understanding in depth. However, learning does not demonstrate a fully integrated and /or contextualised knowledge structure.

D: The student has demonstrated that the intended learning outcomes have been acquired at a threshold level. However, only a few simple relationships and connections have been made. A deeper theoretical understanding or contextual awareness does not support learning.

There’s more, but I’m too tender-hearted to inflict it on you. If the above appears to have any meaning at all, it is merely that A is better than B, which is in turn better than C and D. Which I’ve just explained in ONE sentence, and which probably doesn’t need to be explained at all…

I don’t suggest that this system prevents us from accurately marking the students’ work — I’d say the assessment is just as fair as it’s always been, avoiding as much as possible the obvious dangers of subjectivity involved in critiquing creative work. What I do say is that the above garbage, if adhered to, makes it much harder to give meaningful, helpful feedback, and if a student wanted to know what there A or B or C or D actually means, the above are of no real use at all.

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