Toward renewable assessments

Posted on September 2nd, 2016

David Wiley, chief academic officer of Lumen Learning and education fellow at Creative Commons writes a blog post about ways to add value to students’ assignments. Wiley advocates for renewable assessments, where “the student’s work won’t be discarded at the end of the process, but will instead add value to the world in some way.” He points to a course offered at UBC, SPAN 312 (“Murder, Madness, and Mayhem: Latin American Literature in Translation”). Students developed and contributed Wikipedia articles, with the goal of bringing a selection of articles to featured article status. Featured articles are considered the best articles Wikipedia has to offer, as determined by Wikipedia’s editors. Wiley notes that one of “the most powerful part of renewable assignments is the idea that everyone wants their work to matter…Given the opportunity, people want to contribute something, to give something back, to pay it forward, to make the world a better place, to make a difference.” Wiley argues that replacing disposable assessments with renewable assessments can re-humanize education and give students the opportunity to care about and invest in their work.