Assessment in Higher Education: Issues of Access, Quality, Student Development, and Public Policy

By Samuel J. Messick | Go to book overview

COMMENTARY
FEEDBACK AND REFLECTION IN FACILITATING FURTHER LEARNING
Wilbert J. McKeachieUniversity of Michigan Like Patricia Cross, I've used Minute Papers for many years--ever since Wilson first discovered their use by a Berkeley Physics Professor. But I usually allow more than a minute for a Minute Paper and I plan to use these pages for two Minute Papers stimulated primarily by the previous chapters by Cross and Keeton as well as by Chickering. I will begin by a statement of one important thing I learned from Cross and Keeton, and then comment on these points, adding two questions that I hope we will continue to think about.The two main points I want to emphasize are not exactly new to me, but these chapters expanded and clarified my thinking and also led to the questions I shall raise as the second part of my Minute Papers.
1. 1. (From Cross) An assessment device, such as the Minute Paper, should be educational for both students and teachers.
2. 2. (From Keeton) If we are to facilitate life-long learning, we need to integrate theory, practice, and assessment. This implies that we need to teach students to be aware of their own learning, to think about what an experience has taught them, to think about how it can be transferred to other situations (theory), and to assess not only what they have learned but also how they can build on that learning. As Chickering said, it is this ability to build on prior learning that should define success.

Now let me expand a bit on these points. According to Cross, "Some students just never stop to reflect, to put it all together, and draw some synthesis about what

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