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Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
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Thursday, June 18 • 1:45pm - 2:45pm
RTD.17 - Is fine tuning possible with grade-focused students?

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In our service-learning courses, students work with real people and record and reflect on these experiences, to learn appropriate professional behavior, and how to think creatively and respond to changing circumstances. Many of our students are “strategic” learners, characterized by alertness to assessment and intention to achieve the highest possible grades (Entwistle et al., 2000). They display a need to be correct that overrides the opportunity to explore ideas, trouble shoot and problem solve. Additionally, the slavish allegiance to one correct answer prevents many from engaging in the ‘messy’ processes of trial and error, formative feedback and assessment, reflection and refinement (Dewey, 1938). They not only avoid the benefits of proximal learning, they also deny themselves the benefits of ‘cognitive play’ that Vygotsky (1962) encourages. An ‘end of term binge’, their rush to get work done at the eleventh hour, can occur because many seem reluctant to take advantage of formative feedback opportunities (i.e. fine tuning) during the term. Accompanying this binge is the concomitant expectation of immediate feedback from the instructor and the equally unrealistic expectation of their own spontaneous comprehension of the material without adequate assimilation time. In our session we will provide participants with a summary of formative assessment examples (Nicol & Macfarlane-Dick, 2006) and invite discussion and suggestions about the pros and cons of each, as well as implementation strategies that enhance student motivation and timely engagement.

Dewey, J. (1938) Experience and Education. New York: Kappa Delta Pi.

Entwistle, N., Tait, H. & McCune, V. (2000). Patterns of response to an approaches to studying inventory across contrasting groups and contexts. European Journal of Psychology of Education, XV(1), 33-48.

Nicol, D. & Macfarlane-Dick, D. (2006). Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: A model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Studies in Higher Education, 31(2), 199-218.

Vygotsky, L.S. (1962). Thought and language (E. Hanfmann & G. Vakar, Trans.). Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Thursday June 18, 2015 1:45pm - 2:45pm PDT
Bayshore Salon ABC

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