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Thanks, Norm. As always, a useful perspective.

I will defer to you on whether any reform in our field is actually new, I
am wondering if what is new about the current (especially assessment)
environment is a new (or more extreme) epistemology or paradigm which is
rooted in ³big data² and analytics, a new faith in numbers qua numbers
with little critical thinking about validity or applicability. In my view
this can be traced to the Googlization of our world and our experience,
but also to ³Freakonomics² type behavioral economics, not to mention the
corporatization of higher ed. I¹m curious if, from your perspective, we
are seeing a paradigmatic shift in how we as a society understand and
*interpret* research and data. Does that, at least in part, point to the
problems you mention below (e.g. Decontextualization)?

I see this all around us in  the aforementioned behavioral economics and
in neuroscience claims of ³discoveries² about things cognitive
psychologist learned decades ago. What they mean by ³discover² is
understand the same basic phenomena through a different methodological
lens, which is, typically more quantitative. But, if no one made the
finding in my field with my preferred methods, then I ³discovered² it.
This may also point to a different issue, the splintering along
disciplinary lines of the academy and more generally knowledge creation.

Curious to read your thoughts,
Nic

________________________________________


Dominic (Nic) J. Voge  ||  Associate Director
Undergraduate Learning Program
McGraw Center for Teaching & Learning ||  Princeton University
328 Frist Center
(609)258-6921  || http://www.princeton.edu/mcgraw/us/







On 10/17/15, 7:49 AM, "Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals on
behalf of Smith, Elizabeth" <[log in to unmask] on behalf of
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Thank you, Norm, for giving me the bigger picture.
>
>________________________________________
>From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
><[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Norman Stahl <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2015 4:11 AM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Reminder Email
>
>The key is now once again to have an understanding of the use of multiple
>assessments. At one time this was an accepted construct in the
>profession. Then at some point schools got sucked into the cult of
>Accuplacer and Compass if only for ease of delivery, pressure from
>administrators who had never successfully passed a tests and measurements
>course, and the fiscal enrichment of ETS and ACT (among others). The No
>Child Left Standing culture of the Bush years did not help much either
>(not that the Obama DoEd has been much better).
>
>
>As for the question about course grades across high school...it's kind of
>like what your retirement guy/gal tells you about your future (other than
>saying you will be working until you are 86 years old)...it's the power
>of compounding. High school provides a large number of grades for each
>kid. A single grade is a problem for prediction...40 plus grades (yes
>including P.E.) do provide a prediction factor that has always been
>around .50 (forgive that I do not have the actual figure in front of me
>at 3:00 am)....the addition of the SAT/ACT brought it up to about .56 or
>so.  Schools saw value in the combined measures plus as sundry other
>"measures" often found on the retention regression scales.
>
>
>At the time the modern Developmental Education field came into being we
>used primarily locally designed instrumentation (warts and all) perhaps
>with a standardized measure (Nelson Denny in reading). We scored the
>tests in our own shops and had an idea where each student stood. The
>original contextualized classes from the 1920s actually had the students
>directly involved with the diagnosis and the development of the
>remediation plan. We did not pass the task off to a testing office with
>its "The Wall" (Pink Floyd, 1982 ... great high impact pedagogical
>research) type philosophy.
>
>
>The bottom line...go back to practices that we once did well...use
>multiple measures that predict success and provide diagnostic data
>associated with student success at your institution. To heck with the
>school 20 miles down the road. You do not need need a consultant earning
>$250,000 a year from Gates or Lumina (Gates by any other name) to tell
>you what your field has known for nearly 100 years. As Tony Manzo said
>years ago (I paraphrase), "The College Reading and Study Skills field is
>a great repository knowledge." I'd add that our other fields are also
>such.
>
>
>Please understand...there is not a reform out there that is not at least
>35 years old...we are not in an era of reform...we are in the longest
>scaling up process known to PK-20 pedagogy. The directions the field are
>undertaking are for the most part excellent. The question must be "When
>individuals raised questions about testing/assessment protocols, lack of
>contextualization, lack of research support support for skill, drill,
>kill, ladder type schemes, etc. or offered viable theory/research driven
>reforms (BRBW, fused courses, etc.) since at least the 1970s, why did not
>the field listen and act?" "Why did we wait for an era where we were the
>lowest hanging branch in the attack on the mighty oak that once was
>American higher education." If we do not answer these questions now and
>act accordingly, we deserve to be the low hanging branch ripe for
>plucking.
>
>
>For what it is worth.
>
>
>Norman Stahl
>[log in to unmask]
>
>
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Smith, Elizabeth <[log in to unmask]>
>To: LRNASST-L <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Fri, Oct 16, 2015 8:49 pm
>Subject: Re: Reminder Email
>
>
>I do not have anything to add to the discussion about alternative
>assessment
>techniques, but I do have a question concerning alternative assessments,
>in
>general, for the group.  I may be displaying my ignorance here, but why
>is the
>high school GPA considered a valid assessment tool when it is possible
>for an
>"A" in one class not to be equal with an "A" in another class or that an
>"A" in
>one school may not represent the same body of knowledge or level of
>mastery as
>in another school?  Is the thinking that the effort put forth to get the
>"A"
>(whatever that represents) will be a big enough factor to enable a
>student to do
>well in a particular course?  I know, ideally, with standardized grading
>scales
>and standardized curriculum there shouldn't be much discrepancy, but the
>reality
>is that there is great discrepancy.
>Elizabeth
>Smith
>
>________________________________________
>From: Open Forum for Learning
>Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Hunter
>Boylan
><[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2015 2:36 PM
>To:
>[log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Reminder Email
>
>Hi, Everyone!
>
>There
>has been a lot of talk in policy circles about non-traditional
>methods of
>assessing students' cognitive and non-cognitive
>characteristics.  At the same
>time, there is increasing distrust of
>existing paper and pencil or computer
>based instruments. Do any of you use
>some alternative assessment techniques to
>gather information on your
>students for advising, placement, or instructional
>purposes?
>
>HRB
>
>Hunter R. Boylan, Ph.D. Professor and Director
>National
>Center for Developmental Education
>Reich College of Education, Appalachian
>State University
>ASU Box 32098, Boone, NC  28608
>828-262-6100
>
>On Thu, Oct
>15, 2015 at 11:58 AM, Maher, Patricia <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> To access the
>LRNASST-L archives or User Guide, or to change your
>> > subscription options
>(including subscribe/unsubscribe), point your web
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>>
>> From: Luya, Sergio
>>
>Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2015 11:20 AM
>> To: Maher, Patricia
><[log in to unmask]>
>> Subject: Reminder Email
>>
>>
>> Just a friendly reminder
>for to send me the link to the website that I can
>> search through to find
>other evaluations.
>>
>>
>>
>> Thanks!
>>
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