Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Oxford All Souls’ “One Word” Exam

Tina Selig mentioned an interesting assessment method in her course on creativity at the Stanford Venture Lab. To quote,

Until recently, prospective students at All Soul’s College, at Oxford university, took a “one-word exam.” They each flipped over a piece of paper at the same time to reveal a single word. The word might have been “innocence” or “miracles” or “water” or “provocative.” Their challenge was to craft an essay in three hours inspired by that single word. There were no right answers to this exam. However, each applicant’s response provided insights into the student’s wealth of knowledge and ability to generate creative connections.

Creativity Venture Lab Stanford eLearning CourseHow can assessments be made so specific, individual and granular in an eLearning course? The feedback loop from student to teacher and back to student in an eLearning course needs to mimic a true classroom experience. The long-form, essay type assessments in eLearning can only be graded by humans. There isn’t any tool, as yet, that can provide grading or feedback for an essay type answer in any eLearning tool that we know of. In this type of assessment, eLearning tool or platform becomes a communication system rather than a learning partner. We will have to wait until computing evolves by an order of magnitude before this happens.


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