Well I read the article. First thing I had to do was google “Rhizomatic Learning” …which led to more articles, but hey, learning.
^Example of Rhizome plant. Lily of the Valley. Pretty. WILL take over your garden. Difficult to reign in!
As far as contract grading goes, I have not been a huge fan of the whole “do this and you will get this mark…” idea. This is likely because I was not exposed to it in my own education, and change?! Gross! Also, GIVE ME THE CONTROL! NO SHARING! Lol As the article mentions, I always tended to be one of those upper level students so I guess that makes sense. I hope to become more flexible in this as I grow as an instructor.
As Spidell and Thelin and Taylor suggested, when we began the journey of this course, I was confused! I read the syllabus and contract and descriptions and for the life of me could not nail down what was expected and to what level I was to perform each task or assignment. Today the curtain lifted. Which leads to my thoughts that in order for a contract grading to work, students need to be well informed and educated first on the how and why and what of a grading contract. More on my feeble attempt at something similar later.
I spoke a bit about this yesterday when talking about the Slack program and I feel it holds true here. You need to have at least a basic understanding of where your class is at. Could they handle having such input in their own grading? What bar have the students set for themselves so far in the program? I know the article talks about employing this idea often raises the bar for a lot of students when they become involved and engaged in the whole process and I think the article is right for some students. After our discussions and seeing how it worked today, I can totally see how that rings true in many cases. How it encourages engagement and active participation in the learning. However, what happens to the rest? If you don’t get total buy in, do you move forward anyway and hope they follow suit eventually? Maybe that’s a good thing? Weeds out the uncommitted ones?
After today, I feel like there is definitely room to negotiate a grading contract with the right group. I don’t think I would dare let my last group. We had a discussion about an assignment as I wanted them to have input on what works and what they felt was appropriate for not just grading but dates and content as well. I am sure that I need to improve my approach but they tore it to shreds and had no respect for the process. Learned some lessons that day. I like the piece in the article about how best to present and educate the students to the process and how to overcome some of the obstacles. I think that is the meat and potatoes for me. I like the idea of it. Now how do I incorporate it.