Posted on behalf of Tim Small:
While we are looking at criteria for assessment for our enquiry process, I wondered if you’d be interested in the framework I developed and presented in an article published in The Curriculum Journal last year, on Assessing Enquiry-based Learning.
These are the five criteria, with associated objectives:
The next figure sets out their relationship with ELLI Dimensions, values and the shifting of prime responsibility for evaluation, from ‘author’ (self) to assessors (others) as the process moves towards fulfilling its ‘communicative purpose’:
For a fuller explanation, please read the article – abstract below, and I’ll email anyone a copy who can’t access it online (subscriber access only).
I’d value your feedback on it – and/or these headlines!
Small, T. 2009. Assessing enquiry-based learning: developing objective criteria from personal knowledge, The Curriculum Journal, Vol. 20, No. 3, September 2009, 253-270. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09585170903195878
Abstract: This article takes as its starting point the idea that policies of ‘personalising learning’ and promoting ‘creativity’ raise issues for assessment which the present framework for assessment and testing in schools in England and Wales does little to address. It explores the notion, also touched on elsewhere in this issue, of a dichotomy that needs resolving between subjective (or ‘personal’) and objective (or ‘public’) concerns in the assessment of learning. Drawing on previous research using Rosenblatt’s transactional theory of response to literature, the article proposes a resolution based on the unifying concepts of a continuum between two poles and movement of the selective attention between them. Tracing this movement offers a ‘vantage point’ from which the ‘hidden’ or ‘inner’ values of a creative process can be glimpsed, which is likened to the dynamic self-assessment of learning power. Relating closely to Polanyi’s philosophy of personal or ‘tacit’ knowledge, the article argues that enquiry-based learning is essentially as creative an activity as composing or responding aesthetically to poetry. After constructing five principles from theoretical observations on the evaluation of creativity, the article goes on to develop a set of criteria and objectives, related to the values already discussed, which are offered as a framework to support self-assessment and joint assessment of enquiry-based learning.
Keywords: assessment; assessment criteria; creativity; enquiry-based learning; learning power; learning to learn; personalised learning; self-assessment; subjectivity; values and learning