I just responded to JJ’s comment about my AR submission to Life Eroding, wherein I think his project is a great example of authentic assessment. A real life project, real life consequences and real life connections.
Now I see that Martha Burtis has posted about DS106 authenticity, where students are concerned that their work is so good that it might not be considered to be authentically their own!
“This gets at a lot of important issues, but I find that the tone need not be so somber”
Damn straight! This is not a moment to be somber. This is something Martha (and Jim) should celebrate. Instead of mandating some sort of reflection or iterative process that would act as proof, this student blogged the proof as a form of SELF-SATISFACTION! You gave a project that he was proud to complete. So proud that he wanted to show process.
Isn’t that what is at the heart of true self-directed learning? Isn’t that the essence of what children are naturally born with, and then institutions slowly and deliberately systematize, standardize and make mundane, forced and inauthentic?
The truth of the matter stands that academic dishonesty *is* a huge problem. Students have a lot of pressures on them and at the end of the day getting a 78 or a 80% could mean loss of a large scholarship. The key to promoting academic integrity is in the assignment design. In the case of an academic paper, this could be the annotated bibliography and a series of rough drafts. Basically mandated a series of reflections, revision and an iterative process to track progress so that it is impossible to lift someone else’s paper.
This is actually quite helpful in assignment design, even in creative assignments, because it provides a framework for the process to flourish.
In my opinion, since DS106 asks students to blog process- so in a sense this type of iterative, reflective process is being provided as a framework . There just isn’t a checkbox, ready to be ticked by a teacher for each blog posting. It’s more organic. And yet, the end result is a better quality final assignment and a student who reflects on the process for self-satisfaction!
This actually started as a comment on Martha’s blog but got to be so long, I figured it could use its own post. But what I started to say, and (am trying to get to here) is- Congratulations Martha & Jim- for creating a course that inspires self-satisfaction!