Tuesday, 16 September 2008

The End of Independant Thought

This was my quote of the day from Alan Liu (Monday's keynote) speaking in the context of collaborative teaching and learning. There's certainly evidence of a lot of independant thinking going on at DRHA, but also of interdependant thinking which of course is only natural when most people here are talking about collaborative research rather than research of the 'lone scholar' model. Alan Liu has been teaching his students using a wiki environment, which has led to questions of how to assess an individual's contribution, or final project - when so much is dependant on others how can you draw boundaries around what is 'yours'? He made the point that although technology increases the facility to, and likelihood of, collaboration amongs teachers, researchers and students, the focus of assessment in most educational establishments is still of the individual - where is the move towards new ways of assessment instead of increased policing ?

But it struck me that even if you claimed to be a lone scholar you would still be drawing on primary sources and making citations of the authors thereof - could the same citation rules not apply to teachers, classmates and anyone else that you feel has contributed to your paper, wiki or other output? The assessment of the final piece would be on how you had patchworked / melded / moulded those contributions together and come to your own conclusions or created your own artwork, for example. Could Marianne Schmidt's projections of text messages be an example of this? She depends on passers by for content - but the delivery is all of her own making (I'll post a picture later). The texts as seen on the buildling, suddenly several feet wide and available to all, take on a genuinely new meaning - but I still enjoyed pointing to the text I'd sent her and shouting out 'that's mine!!'.


Sue Thomas said...

Hi Tamsin, I don't know whether you were in Christine Wilks' talk, but she discussed this remix artwork http://www.runran.net/remix_runran/ where everyone remixes everyone else's work. A further example of the complexities of collaboration!

J. Nathan Matias said...

>>where is the move towards new ways of assessment
>>instead of increased policing ?

MBA Courses. Conferences like WikiSym and Hypertext, and places like the University of London Institute of Education, where academics are working out the technology and pedagogy of new media.

--J. Nathan Matias
St. John's College, Cambridge