Rose’s Day 4 Bloggness

Well I read the article. First thing I had to do was google “Rhizomatic Learning” …which led to more articles, but hey, learning.

picture

^Example of Rhizome plant. Lily of the Valley. Pretty.  WILL take over your garden. Difficult to reign in!

<- Root structure of Lily of the Valley...  Much like Rhizomatic Learning, it is difficult to pin down and organize and in which direction is the right direction for you. We need to accept this and the different pathways we all take. Maybe when we look at contract grading, or self-directed models in general, allowing each class or student to “find their own root traily thing” as we guide them through the contained web as necessary is becoming best practice in our field. As long as outcomes are met.
^  Root structure of Lily of the Valley…  Much like Rhizomatic Learning, it is difficult to pin down and organize and in which direction is the right direction for you. We need to accept this and the different pathways we all take. Maybe when we look at contract gradiing, or self-directed models in general, allowing each class or student to “find their own root traily thing” as we guide them through the contained web as necessary is becoming best practice in our field. As long as outcomes are met.

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.

5 thoughts on “Rose’s Day 4 Bloggness”

  1. Hi Rose,

    Its funny how we all seem to judge things by comparing it to what I know (or what we are used to). The whole concept of negotiating for marks seems uncomfortable to start…. but now it may be growing on me.

  2. I had to google “Rhizomatic Learning” too and came up with the same thing! I like the idea of contract grading, but like you said with some groups it is out of the question to even try. I like the idea of contract learning but still not sure if Im sold on it yet. Fear of the unfamiliar maybe?

  3. I think that one key component of contract grading is having a relationship of mutual respect, kind of like Steph said in her blog and also a level of maturity like you said. When I read Aaron’s comment and your post, I was reminded (again) of Piaget’s theory, which talks about the uncomfortable feeling of ‘disequilibrium’ that comes before accommodation of new information and forming of new perspectives.
    Cool picture and caption/description using Lily of the Valley. I am having that problem with one of my flower gardens atm. I wonder if this is a complex or a complicated problem??

  4. Rose, good points about assessing your class well before introducing the concept of contract grading. I agree there are some groups where it just wouldn’t work. Respect for others would be huge and I don’t see this concept working unless that respect is there.
    Leona

  5. I agree that it wouldn’t work with certain groups. I think Amanda said it in one of her comments. A level of maturity is perhaps needed and an appreciation for the learning process.

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