"Norm and criterion referenced assessment are two distinctly different methods of awarding grades that express quite different values about teaching, learning and student achievement. Norm referenced assessment, or 'grading on the curve' as it is commonly known, places groups of students into predetermined bands of achievements. Students compete for limited numbers of grades within these bands which range between fail and excellence. This form of grading speaks to traditional and rather antiquated notions of 'academic rigour' and 'maintaining standards'. It says very little about the nature or quality of teaching and learning, or the learning outcomes of students. Grading is formulaic and the procedure for calculating a final grade is largely invisible to students.
Criterion referenced assessment has been widely adopted in recent times because it seeks a fairer and more accountable assessment regime than norm referencing. Students are measured against identified standards of achievement rather than being ranked against each other. In criterion referenced assessment the quality of achievement is not dependent on how well others in the cohort have performed, but on how well the individual student has performed as measured against specific criteria and standards. Underlying this grading scheme is a concern for accountability regarding the qualities and achievements of students, transparency and negotiability in the process by which grades are awarded, an acknowledgement of subjectivity and the exercise of professional judgement in marking."
(Lee Dunn, Sharon Parry and Chris Morgan, 2002)
"Perhaps it is a link enabling us...to pass from one subject to another, therefore to live together. But since social relations are always ambiguous...since thought divides as much as it unites...since words unite or isolate by what they express or omit...since an immense gulf separates my subjective awareness...from the objective truth I represent for other...since I constantly blame myself, though I feel innocent...since every event transforms my daily life...since I constantly fail to communicate...since each failure makes me aware of solitude...since...since I cannot escape crushing objectivity or isolating subjectivity...since I cannot rise to the state of being, or fall into nothingness...I must listen, I must look around more than ever. The world... my kin... my twin. The world alone...today when revolutions are impossible and wars threaten me...when capitalism is unsure of its rights and the working class retreats...when the lighting progress of science...brings the future terribly near...when the future is closer than the present...when the distant galaxies are at my door...my kin, my twin... Where is the beginning? But what beginning? God created heaven and earth. But one should be able to put it better. To say that the limits of language, of my language...are those of the world, of my world...and that in speaking, I limit the world, I end it. And when mysterious, logical death abolishes these limits...there will be no question, no answer, just vagueness. But what if things come into focus again...this can only be through the rebirth of conscience. Everything follows from this."
(Jean Luc Godard)
Fig.1 Godard, Jean Luc (1967). "Deux ou trois choses que je sais d'elle" [Two or three things I know about her]. 84 mins
[Godard uses a simple sequence of air-bubbles slowly decaying in a cup of black coffee as a metaphor to explain the perils of reductionist thought: bubbles decay; truth-claims limit. The sequence appears 29 minutes into film.]
The short 16mm film; "A Little Death" evolved from an earlier (speculative) project entitled "Into The Void". This project problematised issues of space (zone, boundary, intersection) through their instigation as narrative actors. The project enquired: How do 3D people live up to idealised 2D representations? What happens if an individual who doesn't 'belong' is given the chance to 'fit in' & remains dislocated? As Frank turns to reach out and touch his surrounds he finds them to be flat and lifeless representations - literally a 2D world of backdrops hanging one foot in front of his face - mirrors of his own subjectivity. Will he locate himself within this shifting but lifeless tableau or escape into the void beyond?
(Simon Perkins & Paul Swadel, September 1993)
[The project was conceptualised in part as a play on Edouard Manet's 'Olympia' (and its reframing of Titian's 'The Venus of Urbino'.]