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Looking for the right answer


By Laura Winer, Teaching and Learning Services

EDUCAUSE is an association with the mission of improving higher education through the use of information technology.  So it was a little surprising that the keynote speaker at EDUCAUSE 2013, Sir Ken Robinson, chose to show a short video featuring the work of third grade children. When there is a correct answer reports on an admittedly non-scientific study that nonetheless makes an important point: how you ask a question will influence the kind of answers you get. When students thought that there was a “right” way, the answers converged; when there wasn’t that expectation, the answers diverged.  As I think about questions as filling a dual role of assessment and stimulating thinking, the convergent/divergent continuum will be useful to help create alignment between instructional goals and assessment strategies.

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