Which is why I signed up for this conference:
Just ended Day-1 of the three-day symposium, held at Republic Polytechnic. I didn't have any specific expectations of the symposium. My main aim was to get some insights on Problem Based Learning (PBL). To get a feel of the trends and what educators are thinking/ doing.
When I attended RICE 2008, I'd heard PBL (or its equivalent) mentioned a few times. That got me wondering how public libraries can be part of the equation.
PBL isn't directly related to public libraries. But seems to me there's potential. Not necessarily in the form employed in schools today.
One of the speakers today, Dr. Mark A. Serva, cited this Wikipedia entry when he mentioned PBL. Incidentally, the Wikipedia entry cites a few of the references and citations I'd heard from Day-1.
Here are my Tweets from Day-1, in sequential chronological order (Twitter hashtag #pbl09w):
MOE perm sec says: Polytechnics in SG takes in 40% of student cohort.
key PBL components: Problem, Facilitation, Collaboration, Reflection
keynote speaker: despite wide use, PBL has limited evidence base. Mixed results.
I'm thinking: if measures of PBL are not 100% conclusive, what then to devise new ways to measure impact of libraries & reading?
from my layman understanding of PBL, the key may be the facilitator rather than method (PBL).
now attending workshop on "assessing student learning". Am interested in applying to library context.
"assessment (i.e. feedback), rather than teaching, has a major influence on students' learning"
suggestion that educators prefer to teach than assess. Conversely students want to know how they fare rather than learn
"assess" is from latin "assidere", i.e "to sit with".
trainer: "learning objectives were only introduced in 2001 in my uni. Yours?". Participant:"we've had them but no one verifies"
my take from this workshop: even educators are asking if their assessment methods are valid or the best.
seems there's no one best assessment method. Depends on what's practical, logical, acceptable (by parents/ students/ mgt)
it occurred to me my conference Tweets are a way to assess speaker & also my learning. So... Give students Twitter?
"a good assessment protects privacy and dignity of those being assessed"
hawk & hill (2001) if you are giving grades, students don't care for comments. hmm.
strategy of "union of insufficiencies" of assessment methods. a variety of assessment methods help give better picture.
Now listening to Mark A. Serva "holistic view of student learning: moving beyond pedagogy
dr. mark Serva "the goal is Learning, not Teaching... MacDonalds' goal isn't to make hamburgers; it's to make ppl happy"
dr. Serva: "integration of writing is critical for learning". He hopes to get students to write their textbook.
Formative Assessment aims to give feedback to student for chance to improve. Not just Summative Assessment
ooh, I'm at this workshop where there's a quietly hostile participant! Challenging the speaker.
Recurrent theme: each assessment method has strength & weakness. Strategy is to use various methods to assess diff aspects.
suggestion that educators should ultimately make professional judgement on student, & not just rely on assessment tools only
idea that educators can subjectively judge student performance but justify w evidence from various assessments (sounds like real world staff appraisals!)
[Next: Part 2]