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ERIC Number: EJ1104481
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2368-4526
Is Fine-Tuning Possible with Grade-Focused Students?
Frost, Gail; Connolly, Maureen
Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, v9 p147-154 2016
In our service-learning courses, students work with real people and record and reflect on these experiences, to learn appropriate professional behavior, how to think creatively, and how to respond to changing circumstances. Many of our students are strategic learners, characterized by alertness to assessment and intention to achieve the highest possible grades (Entwistle, Tait, & McCune, 2000). Their need to be correct often overrides the opportunity to explore ideas, troubleshoot, and problem solve. Their slavish allegiance to one correct answer prevents many from engaging in the messy processes of trial and error, formative feedback and assessment, reflection, and refinement (Dewey, 1938). They not only avoid the benefits of proximal learning, they also deny themselves the benefits of cognitive play that Vygotsky (1962) encourages. An end of term binge, their rush to get work done at the eleventh hour, can occur because many seem reluctant to take advantage of formative feedback opportunities (i.e. fine tuning) during the term. Accompanying this binge is the concomitant expectation of immediate feedback from the instructor, and the equally unrealistic expectation of their own spontaneous comprehension of the material without adequate assimilation time. This paper will describe our efforts to implement formative assessment in our classes. We present a number of formative assessment examples, discuss the pros and cons of teaching this way, and suggest some implementation strategies that enhance student motivation and timely engagement.
Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 1280 Main Street West, Mills Library Room 504, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L6, Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A