Yesterday morning I presented a session for the e-Assessment Scotland Conference alongside Martha Burtis and Alan Levine titled “ds106: A Framework for Assessment.” I kind of mapped out a logic for the session (albeit roughly), but thanks to technical difficulties that prevented us from broadcasting on ds106.tv, we actually resorted to having a conversation about ds106 and assessment in a Google Hangout. And it proved to be a blast—at least for us.
As for the discussion, it meanders. But that’s expected given that ds106 is a multi-headed hydra and there’s really no one way at the idea of assessment given it aspires more towards becoming a community that remaining a class. That said, there are a few realizations we all seemed to agree on after years of teaching it at UMW (and there are probably more I am missing here):
- The course infrastructure/design is modelled upon the web unlike, ironically, most techncial infrastructures for teaching and leanring online. As a result, it has developed an open community that encourages and makes possible a form of communal assessment and feedback that is otherwise inconceivable
- Assessment is not about the quality of the product, but sharing your thinking and approach to what you did. The importance of process as a means of gauging learning in the form of a blog for ds106
- The willingness to let go, to make possible a “pedagogy of uncertainty” to lead the class/community in directions none of you could have engineered, or even imagined, otherwise
- It’s a shitload of work
I have to thank Kenji Lamb, the confernece organizer, for being so cool on all counts with my technical screwup, and more generally for putting on quite a confernce. There were a number of amazing sessions, and many of them can be found at John Johnston‘s EDUtalk, which is currently doubling as a confernece resource site with audio of talks by Catherine Cronin, Helen Keegan, Doug Belshaw, Cristina Costas, and many more. Now that’s how you run an online confernece, make it distributed, freely accessible, and make all the sessions immediately archived and available. Kudos all around!