Suppose Einstein sat your physics classes…


A thought experiment:

Suppose you’re a high school physics teacher and Einstein, at the peak of his career, is placed in your class, only you don’t know who he is. And, for whatever reason, he is happy to coast along and remain anonymous. You teach your class as usual and, of course, Einstein comes out with top marks at the end of the year. Yet, he’s learned nothing.

I know I’ve had similar experiences in my class with students who are, momentarily at least, Einsteins; I know I was like that in some of my classes back in the day. I was happy to sit back and just get the grades. But I wasn’t learning. I used easy grades as a way to buy time for daydreaming or getting up to mischief with my buddies.

So, what I’m looking for in an assessment tool is a way to collect affective data; that is, I want to assess the mood of my students in class and on particular assignments. I want to know if they were challenged, bored, confused, excited, exhausted and so on. As a teacher, that is valuable feedback for my teaching.

I’ll give this a try next year–I can ask them to add a hashtag or something to work they hand in. But I think this can be built into an app that gives more subtlety and some additional data, something like Expereal.



One Comment

  1. […] Ovenell-Carter, whose work I admire very much, toyed with a thought experiment about affective data collection. He suggested an app or perhaps a hashtag system to gain such data, but in recent conversations has […]

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