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IEH Series, Session 1: Post-session reflection

This reflection is part of an ongoing thought process I’m having concerning assessment in my context. The courses I teach have run for many years, so we (my colleague, our small team of adjunct instructors, and I) have long-standing assessment practices, which are not easily changed. I think a good starting point for examining our assessment practices is this ecocycle planning model (which I learned about last August in MYFest):

diagram of four phases ecocycle planning (gestation, birth, maturity, creative destruction)

Diagram from PDF by Fisher Qua (found in “Collateral Material” of Ecocycle Planning Liberating Structure)

The diagram depicts a cycle moving through four stages: gestation, birth, maturity, and creative destruction. This model invites me to think about the different exam components and reflect on what stage of the model each one is at.

Without boring you with the details, I believe that the latest version of ChatGPT has moved one exam component to the creative destruction stage. (Not too sad about that, honestly) So, for me that opens the door to talking through assessment alternatives with other stakeholders. It’s the perfect opportunity for a deep dive into ideas from Maha and Mia’s Intentionally Equitable Hospitality as Critical Instructional Design, which they also touched on in Session 1 on Jan. 5.

So, the day after this session, I reflected on the questions in the section “When do we practice IEH?” I wrote down my ideas for each phase: pre-design, design, in the facilitation/teaching moment, and beyond the moment (sustaining community). This helped me think through the perspectives of different stakeholders and consider how to involve each one in the design process. Since this is just a short reflection, I’m only going to touch briefly on two points here:

  1. One stumbling block is how to include adjunct instructors in the design process while still being respectful of their time. Perhaps consulting them, welcoming their input without making it mandatory, and passing along equitable facilitation ideas are ways to involve them without overburdening them.
  2. I’m also thinking about how students can be a part of this process. In part of a keynote (36:01 – 38:37) Maha gave last November on alternative assessment, she outlined some ideas for student involvement. For example, she pointed out that instructors can modify an assessment as they talk through it with students and adapt it to students’ needs. Along these lines, I intend to find out more and reflect on intentional adaptation and generous authority.

To close this reflection, it’s my hope that intentionally interweaving the perspectives of different stakeholders as this rethinking of assessment unfolds will improve the assessment experience for students and instructors alike.

Sprirograph in MYFest colors (shades of blue, pink, and purple) with the letters IEH in the center


Final note: I designed this spirograph with the help of this online spirograph: I was inspired by Laura Gibb's reflection last summer: MYFest continues to ripple on for me: ecocycle planning, interwoven spirals, colors, . . .