Black box of student evaluation: Course participation

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Authors
Ebner, Noam
Efron, Yael
Issue Date
2012
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Abstract
Course participation is definitely at the "subjective" end of the subjective-to-objective scale of possible assessment methods. It may be surprising, therefore, that so subjective a measure is almost universally a part of negotiation teachers' assessment methods. Ebner and Efron conclude, however, that just because a method is widely used does not mean it is used effectively. Indeed they find, in surveying colleagues, a startling vagueness at the heart of current use. Picking apart their own prior practice, they discover that they themselves have used course participation in grading in ways that do not survive close examination. From these discoveries they proceed to analyze problems that seem inherent in the method, some of which appear daunting. They modestly conclude that to define "best practices" would be premature. As a step toward greater intellectual rigor and future development, however, Ebner and Efron propose five questions which any teacher interested in rethinking the use of course participation might profitably ask.
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Noam Ebner & Yael Efron, The Black Box of Student Evaluation: Course Participation, in Assessing Our Students, Assessing Ourselves 81 (Noam Ebner, James Coben & Christopher Honeyman eds., 2012).
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DRI Press
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