By Judith W George and John Cowan
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Extra resources for A Handbook of Techniques for Formative Evaluation: Mapping the Student's Learning Experience
It should almost go without saying that you need to agree with the students a clear definition of the remit for the evaluation, even if and when you yourself evaluate, and a clear understanding of the role of anyone who assists you in that. If you are obtaining, or making public even within the class, information that is normally private or confidential, you must obtain permission to do so. Analysing the data11 The important points to be made under this heading stem from the need for you to do all that should be done to ensure objectivity, and to avoid skipping hurriedly and carelessly through an important stage in the process.
I reported that it had seemed to me that: certain points mattered quite strongly to at least one of you (and I listed examples, such as a tediously repeated explanation, and a welcome feedback on inaccurate responses); there were points on which you disagreed, or worked or reacted in different ways (and again I listed them); there were certain points or tasks or instructions that created problems for you, other than the difficulty of the material (another list); these features of the program were the ones that you praised or enthused about (a final list).
Notice how the multiple perspectives of a combined trio of approaches led to a deeper and more sensitive identification of, and response to, the need for a particular development in the teaching and assessment combined. < previous page page_28 next page > < previous page page_29 next page > Page 29 BEWARE YOUR OWN ASSUMPTIONS Watch out, for example, for your possible reliance on students' 'letters'8 or wash-up reports, or other evaluations, which concentrate on aspects of the course which you have already made clear to them are important to you – such as developing critical thinking, and the accessibility of the tutor.