[IAEP] [Sugar-devel] Assessment in Karma

Martin Langhoff martin.langhoff at gmail.com
Fri Aug 21 01:53:28 EDT 2009

On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 3:58 AM, Bryan Berry<bryan at olenepal.org> wrote:
> I agree that automatic assessment is no magic cure-all but it does free
> teachers from a lot of drudgery in grading worksheets.

I understand your point, and respect your good intentions. I worry --
quite a bit -- about the outcome however...

> Teachers should be grading student essays not arithmetic exercises or
> vocabulary exercises.

What I worry is that once we automated arithmetic exercises, they'll
focus on that... as you say....

> We especially need automatic assessment for contexts where teachers
> don't have time to grade homework, like Nepal, India, Pakistan, etc.

So they don't have time for either. We automate one, and the fact that
we provide easy to get, easy to use grades takes over. They still
don't have time for essays.

[ The sad thing I find is that they *will* find time to make pretty
graphs of the paltry numbers they get. The graphs make the teacher
look good and in control. ]

> I think that Karma is approaching from a much different vantage point
> than teachers in the developed world do. We are not looking to capture
> "excellence" but rather diagnose if kids are having trouble with basic
> skills and give kids instant feedback rather than make them wait a week
> to get their graded homework back, if it ever comes back.

John Hattie, in pretty developed NZ, has done a lot of work on that
exact track ("early diagnosis of kids falling behind on basics" and
"instant feedback"). Hence Asttle.

Maybe I am a luddite and it'll happen anyway. Hmmm.

 martin.langhoff at gmail.com
 martin at laptop.org -- School Server Architect
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