Looking for the right answer

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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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