This is a long post in which I work out some new ideas I have about incorporating pass/fail formative grading in my courses.
For a few years now, I’ve included a poster session component in my assessment. I began using them while I was chair of the Text Encoding Initiative, inspired in large part by the poster slam organised by my friend Susan Schreibman (now of Maynooth, then of the University of Maryland).
Until this year, I didn’t treat them that seriously: students were assessed on a pass/fail basis with the pass threshold being simple submission of a good faith effort; I didn’t really give any instructions on how to make posters (something traditionally humanists have not done); and I didn’t neither evaluated the presentations nor (most years) provided time for students to look at each others’ posters outside of the slam presentation itself.
This year, however, inspired largely by Inge Genee’s practice in her linguistics class, I stumbled upon a much better and educationally valuable way of using them. We did the slam as in previous years, but then we broke the c Read the rest of this entry »