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26 SEPTEMBER 2012

Animated Presentation Describing Grade-Based Assessment at NTU

"For the 2012 / 13 academic year, NTU is introducing a new scheme for assessing undergraduate students' work. The scheme is known as grade–based assessment or GBA.

A major advantage of GBA is that it ensures that there is a direct link between the expected learning outcomes of the part of the course being assessed and what you, the student, have demonstrated in the assessment. This short video explains this.

The specific arrangements relating to the assessment of a module will be set out in module documentation. Previously, assessed work was awarded a mark, usually a percentage. Following the introduction of GBA, each piece of assessed work will be awarded one of 17 grades.

You will be informed about what is expected of you in order to achieve a particular grade. This information will mean that feedback on your work will be clear and you will be able to evaluate your progress towards your final degree classification."

(Nottingham Trent University)

[This animated presentation provides an overview of the grade–based marking scheme which is being introduced at Nottingham Trent University for the 2012 / 13 academic year. The presentation is clearly aimed at NTU students (and refers to the university–specific VLE called the "NOW" – the "NTU Online Workspace"), despite this the clip covers issues which I expect have more general relevance to students studying at other institutions.]

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TAGS

17-point marking scale • 2012academic progressanimated explainer videoanimated presentationassessed workassessmentcourse modules • degree classification • expected learning outcomes • feedbackfeedback and assessment • GBA (assessment) • grade-based assessment • grade-based marking scheme • gradinglearning outcomesNottingham Trent University • NOW (acronym) • NTU • NTU Online Workspace • pedagogy • percentage • performance metricsprogramme modulessummative assessment • summative evaluation • UKundergraduate students

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
30 APRIL 2012

Pictures Under Glass: sacrificing tactile richness

"As it happens, designing Future Interfaces For The Future used to be my line of work. I had the opportunity to design with real working prototypes, not green screens and After Effects, so there certainly are some interactions in the video which I'm a little skeptical of, given that I've actually tried them and the animators presumably haven't. But that's not my problem with the video.

My problem is the opposite, really – this vision, from an interaction perspective, is not visionary. It's a timid increment from the status quo, and the status quo, from an interaction perspective, is actually rather terrible. ...

I'm going to talk about that neglected third factor, human capabilities. What people can do. Because if a tool isn't designed to be used by a person, it can't be a very good tool, right? ...

Do you see what everyone is interacting with? The central component of this Interactive Future? It's there in every photo! That's right! – HANDS. And that's great! I think hands are fantastic! Hands do two things. They are two utterly amazing things, and you rely on them every moment of the day, and most Future Interaction Concepts completely ignore both of them. Hands feel things, and hands manipulate things.

Go ahead and pick up a book. Open it up to some page. Notice how you know where you are in the book by the distribution of weight in each hand, and the thickness of the page stacks between your fingers. Turn a page, and notice how you would know if you grabbed two pages together, by how they would slip apart when you rub them against each other.

Go ahead and pick up a glass of water. Take a sip. Notice how you know how much water is left, by how the weight shifts in response to you tipping it.

Almost every object in the world offers this sort of feedback. It's so taken for granted that we're usually not even aware of it. Take a moment to pick up the objects around you. Use them as you normally would, and sense their tactile response – their texture, pliability, temperature; their distribution of weight; their edges, curves, and ridges; how they respond in your hand as you use them.

There's a reason that our fingertips have some of the densest areas of nerve endings on the body. This is how we experience the world close–up. This is how our tools talk to us. The sense of touch is essential to everything that humans have called 'work' for millions of years.

Now, take out your favorite Magical And Revolutionary Technology Device. Use it for a bit. What did you feel? Did it feel glassy? Did it have no connection whatsoever with the task you were performing?

I call this technology Pictures Under Glass. Pictures Under Glass sacrifice all the tactile richness of working with our hands, offering instead a hokey visual facade."

(Bret Victor, 8 November 2011)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 MAY 2011

Effective and evocative research: difference through the form and outcomes of the iterative cycles and the type of feedback that informs the reflective process

"From the differences we have described, it might be assumed that the distinction between effective and evocative research is between the analytical and intuitive. However, it is important to note that, while analysis of the problem and context tends to come first in effective research, as in all research, it is intuition that leads to innovation. And, on the other hand, while evocative research may evolve intuitively through the interests, concerns and cultural preoccupations of the creative practitioner, it is rounded out and resolved by analytical insights.

Because of this combination of the intuitive and analytical, both ends of the spectrum may draw on bodies of theory such as Donald Schön's (1983) theories of reflective practice and principles of tacit knowledge and reflection–in–action, to frame an iterative development process. However, differences can be identified between the form and outcomes of the iterative cycles and the type of feedback that informs the reflective process.

In effective research, an iterative design process may involve an action research model and prototyping (paper prototype, rapid prototype, functional prototype and so on). Each iterative stage is evaluated through user testing by a representative group of end users (through quantitative or qualitative surveys or observations of use, for example). The purpose of this testing is to gauge the artifact's functionality, usability and efficacy. The gathered data informs changes and refinements in each cycle.

On the other hand, an artist might stage a number of preliminary exhibitions, but these are not staged to gather 'data', or to obtain successively closer approximations of a solution to a problem. Instead, they are part of an exploration of unfolding possibilities. Feedback might be sought from respected colleagues, and gathered in an informal setting (in the manner of a peer 'critique'). The purpose of gathering such insights is to allow the artist to reflect upon the project and its evocation and affect and to see their work through the insights of others, which may shed new light on the practice and its possibilities."

(Jillian Hamilton and Luke Jaaniste, 2009)

2). Hamilton, J. and L. Jaaniste (2009). "The Effective and the Evocative: Practice–led Research Approaches Across Art and Design". ACUADS: The Australian Council of University Art & Design Schools, Brisbane, Queensland, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University.

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TAGS

action research model • ACUADS • analysisanalytical processart and designartistic practice • Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools • conceptualisationcontextcreative practitioner • cultural preoccupations • data gatheringDonald Schon • effective research • evocative researchexegesisexhibitionsexploration of unfolding possibilitiesfeedbackfine artfunctional prototype • gathering insights • insightintuitionintuitiveiterative design processiterative developmentJillian Hamilton • Luke Jaaniste • observationpaper prototype • peer critique • postgraduate supervisionpractice-led research • problem analysis • prototypingqualitative methods • qualitative surveys • quantitativereflection-in-actionreflective practicereflective processresearch artefactresearch designtacit knowledgetestingtheory buildingvisual arts

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
07 JUNE 2005

Weblogs: Promoting Shared Business Context

"...think about the value of the Wall Street Journal to business leaders. The value it provides is context – the Journal allows readers to see themselves in the context of the financial world each day, which enables more informed decision making. With this in mind, think about your company as a microcosm of the financial world. Can your employees see themselves in the context of the whole company? Would more informed decisions be made if employees and leaders had access to internal news sources? Weblogs serve this need. By making internal websites simple to update, weblogs allow individuals and teams to maintain online journals that chronicle projects inside the company. These professional journals make it easy to produce and access internal news, providing context to the company – context that can profoundly affect decision making. In this way, weblogs allow employees and leaders to make more informed decisions through increasing their awareness of internal news and events."
(Lee LeFever, 2004/06/21 11:18 PM)

[his pitch argues a case for using Weblogs in a corporate setting. One could argue that their use in this context might provide a challenge to accepted corporate Intranet practices. Instead of such systems being provided as mechanisms for publishing (authorised) corporate 'news' they might instead provide a means for employees to 'feedback' and share their understandings with their peers. In this way weblogs would not only provide context but they could also help to promote corporate loyalty and team–building.]

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