ASSESSMENT IS MORE THAN MEASURING THE OUTCOME
Although assessment is an integral part of experiential learning, it differs from classroom assessment in that it goes beyond the traditional outcome assessment measuring the ability to remember information or facts. When assessing experiential learning, it was important to us to assess both, the learning process itself as well as the final product. Since experiential learning is student-driven and student-centered, the learning process itself as well as the outcome can be varied and unpredictable. It is therefore important that the learners themselves play a critical role in assessing their own learning and students should be given ample opportunities to evaluate the learning progression by analyzing success or failure. The evaluation cycle we designed focused on self- and peer-evaluation to encourage less reliance on the instructor.
PHASE 1 … Learning from discussion and feedback of research idea and writing
- Successive feedback on the development of the research proposal through discussions with peers and instructors.
- Successful submission of the proposal to the Undergraduate Research Grant Committee which offered feedback.
PHASE 2 … Learning from an authentic experience – self-evaluating one’s performance
- Continuous self-evaluation of the quality of native-speaker interviews (interviews were recorded).
- Continuous self-evaluation of collection of data (from archives, library, on-site visits) through discussions with instructors.
PHASE 3 … Learning from discussion of analysis and presentation of data and feedback
- Successive feedback on the development of the webpage through discussions with peers and instructors.
- Presentation of research questions, collected data and results to a larger audience.