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Workshop: Assessment as boundary work: between the discipline and the profession

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This workshop is for academics, learning designers and academic leaders who work with developing assessment tasks across the spectrum of work integrated learning initiatives. Participants are asked to come with an assessment task that they have used, or plan to use, for students preparing for, or reflecting on, a work placement, practicum or simulated work experience. The workshop will explore how these types of assessment tasks create a dialogue at the boundary between academic discipline knowledge and the reflexive knowledge of a skilled practitioner. Peter and Lina will draw on their recent work on epistemic fluency to introduce the workshop. They have analysed a range of assessment task designs in a variety of professional education contexts to try to identify the multiple forms of knowledge and ways of knowing with which students have to become fluent in preparing for professional practice. Many aspects of professional work involve the creation of new understandings – such as in inter-professional dialogues or client consultations. Often this epistemic work goes unnoticed, though sometimes it involves conscious problem-solving and innovation. The workshop will be a hands-on investigation of how these ideas about epistemic fluency, knowledge work and actionable knowledge can be applied in designing better assessment tasks.

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Workshop: Assessment as boundary work: between the discipline and the profession

  1. 1. The University of Sydney Page 1 Workshop Assessment as boundary work: between the discipline and the professionPeter Goodyear & Lina Markauskaite Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation Sydney School of Education and Social Work Deakin 16 November, 2017
  2. 2. The University of Sydney Page 2 Outline 1. Context 2. Insights into assessments – What do students learn (Objects) – What do students produce (Artefacts) – *What is involved in production (Epistemic games and tools/infrastructures) 3. Final notes
  3. 3. The University of Sydney Page 3 Background
  4. 4. The University of Sydney Page 4 Link to eBook Epistemic fluency Our view of professional knowledge – Professional expertise is inseparable from capacities to (co)construct environments that enhance knowledgeable actions – Such expertise is grounded in embodied, situated professional knowledge work – Much of this work is done by (co)creating professional artefacts that embody actionable knowledge – Skilful work requires mastering professional epistemic tools and ways of knowing (epistemic games)
  5. 5. The University of Sydney Page 5 Action and knowledge Actionable knowledge is “knowledge that is particularly useful to get things accomplished in practical activities” (After Yinger & Lee, 1993, 100) Knowledgeable action is “an extension and development of this practical sense away from automatic or habituated practice” (After Schirato & Webb, 2002, 255)
  6. 6. The University of Sydney Page 6 Our empirical study – Nursing, pharmacy, social work, teaching, school counselling – 20 professional courses – Workplace-related assessment tasks
  7. 7. The University of Sydney Page 7 Insights into the assessments on the boundary
  8. 8. The University of Sydney Page 8 Objects What students learn
  9. 9. The University of Sydney Page 9 Objects of assessment tasks Focus Fine-tuning skill and knowledge Shaping professional vision Making professional artefacts Key specific skills and knowledge Eg. Administering reading assessments Hardest elements of practice Eg. Teaching lessons of most difficult topics Core inquiry frameworks Eg. Mastering a generic framework for pharmacy practice Hidden elements of professional practice Eg. Seeing social justice in a lesson plan Artefacts for/in action Eg. Designing a plan, writing a report Generic artefacts- tools Eg. Creating guidelines, teaching kits Core aspects Hard/hidden/rare aspects
  10. 10. The University of Sydney Page 10 Artefacts What students produce
  11. 11. The University of Sydney Page 11 Assessment artefacts Cultural artefactsConceptual artefacts Epistemic artefacts Action Meaning Practice artefacts Action artefacts Design artefactsAnalytical artefacts
  12. 12. The University of Sydney Page 12 Cultural artefacts Artefacts Description Action artefacts Main products of professional work E.g. A conducted lesson, dispensed medications Practice artefacts Artefacts that mediate daily professional work E.g. completed assessment instruments, interviewing notes
  13. 13. The University of Sydney Page 13 Conceptual artefacts Artefacts Description Analytical artefacts Products of a deliberative inquiry for professional judgements (‘know that’) E.g. Professional critiques, evaluations, interpretations, reflections, deconstructions Design artefacts Products of deliberative knowledge work constructing actionable knowledge (‘know how’) E.g. Plans, concepts, models, designs
  14. 14. The University of Sydney Page 14 Epistemic artefacts Artefacts Examples Epistemic artefacts Artefacts that link conceptual (‘know why’, ‘know that’ and ‘know how’) with cultural (‘know how’ and ‘know when’) aspects of professional knowledge E.g. Best practice guidelines, teaching “kits”
  15. 15. The University of Sydney Page 15 Objects & artefacts Focus Core aspects Hard/hidden/rare aspects Fine-tuning skill and knowledge Cultural action artefacts Cultural practice artefacts Cultural action artefacts Cultural practice artefacts Conceptual design artefacts Shaping professional vision Cultural practice artefacts Cultural action artefacts Conceptual analytical artefacts Cultural practice artefacts Making professional artefacts Conceptual design artefacts Cultural practice artefacts Cultural action artefacts Epistemic artefacts Conceptual analytical artefacts Conceptual design artefacts Cultural practice artefacts
  16. 16. The University of Sydney Page 16 Assessment artefacts Cultural artefactsConceptual artefacts Epistemic artefacts Action Meaning Practice artefacts Action artefacts Design artefactsAnalytical artefacts ReadyKnowledgeable Capable
  17. 17. The University of Sydney Page 17 Concluding insights 1. Programs should create the right mix of tasks that involve production of cultural, epistemic and conceptual artefacts 2. ‘Unusual’ objects often involve epistemic qualities that we don’t see in everyday objects 3. The value of artefacts comes from knowing involved in production and knowledge they embody 4. Developmental tasks are an important element of professional learning
  18. 18. The University of Sydney Page 18 Epistemic games & tools
  19. 19. The University of Sydney Page 19 Epistemic games “When people engage in investigations – legal, scientific, moral, political, or other kinds – characteristic moves occur again and again” (Perkins, 1997, 50) Epistemic games are patterns of inquiry that have characteristic forms, moves, goals and rules used by different epistemic communities to conduct inquiries (Morrison & Collins, 1996) Roots Wittgenstein: language-game, form of life, family resemblance Examples – Creating a list – Creating a taxonomy – Making a comparison – Proving a theorem – Doing a controlled experiment – Planning a lesson
  20. 20. The University of Sydney Page 20 Professional epistemic games Professional epistemic games – patterns of inquiry which contribute to the way practitioners generate (situated) knowledge that informs their action
  21. 21. The University of Sydney Page 21 Professional epistemic games Epistemic games 2. Situated problem-solving games 3. Meta-professional games Research games Producing games Coding games Concept combination games Articulation games Evaluation games Making games 4. Trans-professional games Sense-making games Exchanging games 1. Propositional games 6. Weaving games 5. Translational public games Conceptual tool- making games Routine games Semi-scripted games Concept games Public tool- making games Organising games Open games Investigative discourse games Decomposing & assembling games Flexible games Semi-constrained games Situation-specific games Standardisation discourse games Conceptual discourse games Informal discourse games
  22. 22. The University of Sydney Page 22 Propositional (formal) games Research games Concept combination games Conceptual tool games Example: A conceptual tool game Epistemic agenda – to enhance conceptual understanding that informs action
  23. 23. The University of Sydney Page 23 Situated problem-solving games Coding Producing Fitting Making Example: A producing game 2 Epistemic agenda – to enhance situated understanding of a particular problem
  24. 24. The University of Sydney Page 24 Meta-professional discourse games Articulation games Evaluation games Example: An evaluation game 2 Epistemic agenda – to enhance professional perception by redescribing products and actions from a (shared) professional community frame
  25. 25. The University of Sydney Page 25 Trans-professional discourse games Exchanging games Sensemaking games Example: An exchanging game Epistemic agenda – to create links between different professional knowledges and enhance joint knowledgeable actions
  26. 26. The University of Sydney Page 26 Translational public discourse games Reading games Concept games Public tool-making games Example: A tool-making game Epistemic agenda – to extend professional knowledgeable action to the actions of others in everyday world
  27. 27. The University of Sydney Page 27 Weaving games Open games Semi-scripted games Routine games Example: An open game Epistemic agenda – to weave language, physical and symbolic actions for enhancing functionality of professional knowledgeable work
  28. 28. The University of Sydney Page 28 Epistemic games Examples Propositional games Constructing a taxonomy of a disease, nursing “best practice” guidelines Situated problem-solving games Creating a lesson plan, a pharmacy layout Meta-professional discourse games Evaluating a teaching resource, a lesson plan Trans-professional discourse games Mastering discourse for communicating with a doctor Translational public discourse games Mastering communication strategies for dispensing medications
  29. 29. The University of Sydney Page 29 Summary: Professional epistemic games Game Epistemic agenda Propositional games Enhancing conceptual understanding Situated problem-solving Enhancing situated understanding Meta-professional games Enhancing professional perception Trans-professional games Enhancing joint knowledgeable action Translational public games Extending professional knowledgeable action to “lay” others “Weaving” games Enhancing functionality of professional knowledgeable work through embodied action, and social and material environment
  30. 30. The University of Sydney Page 31 Professional epistemic toolbox Epistemic tools 2. Epistemic devices 3. Epistemic instruments & equipment Epistemi c forms Epistemic concepts Inquiry strategies Epistemic statements Data & information gathering tools Processing & sense- making tools Output generating tools Evaluation & reflection tools 1. Epistemic frames (Intra) professional epistemes General epistemic frames Domain- specific conceptual models Professional perspectives & approaches Inquiry structures Inquiry processes Problem-solving strategies
  31. 31. The University of Sydney Page 32 Main insights 1. Learning to use powerful epistemic tools and play powerful epistemic games are among those key aspects of professional epistemic practice that could/should be taught at universities 2. Professions/disciplines would benefit from much more articulated and precise understanding of their epistemic toolkit 3. Epistemic tools, games and artefacts, could provide a concrete foundation for preparing students for professions and for assessing
  32. 32. The University of Sydney Page 33 Further insights Email: Follow our website: https://epistemicfluency.com Lina.Marakauskaite@sydney.edu.au

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