October 04, 2010

First day of MA

Well I made it to the Induction Evening, against the odds! This is my embarkation on the Master's in Educational Assessment about which I am now quite excited, though trepidatious, of course, that I'll not have time to fit it in around a full-time job in primary education and membership of several gigging bands - and that's not even taking into account my need to watch movies! I say 'against the odds' because I had no communication about the course whatsoever, until a few days ago, in spite of frequent emails on my part asking if the course was still on as I hadn't heard anything and appeared to have disappeared off the system. I'm sure it'll all sort itself out as we go along, but it wouldn't have hurt to have had the reading list during the summer...

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  1. Thought that the first session was really interesting – just looking at all the different kinds of Validity!!!

    09 Oct 2010, 22:02

  2. Juliet Nickels

    Yes it was. I think I’ve been more concerned with reliability over the years than validity. I’d not necessarily considered the payoff between the two. I see there’s a link posted to the blog on the module site but I can’t see that anyone’s posted to it. I wonder if we’re all waiting for someone else to do it first! I’ll get down to it tomorrow when I’ve distilled what I think about the A level question. It won’t be the first time I’ve posted something about it!

    09 Oct 2010, 23:08

  3. Hi Juliet – at last getting round to commenting a little on the blogs posted to date. Yours is fabulously comprehensive. My apologies for only sending one recommended text during the summer. But I did notice that almost everyone had read it or at least bought and read some of it. Year on year I send lists only to find 25 excuses as to why people have read nothing so I did the opposite this time. In your case I was clearly mistaken and I will certainly amend my ways next year – send a highly recommended text and a further list. But I don’t entirely regret it.
    I am loving your deep engagement with the module and your prolific responses; the fact that already you are making clear links with and sending out messages to your school as a result of your reflections on module content. Great reflection back to us as a course team on the impact of the course content to date, its relevance and value. I particularly enjoyed the in depth analysis of Ben Goldacre’s article – your comments have been noted by Kim Jackson in his blog. You are having an impact!

    27 Oct 2010, 15:17

  4. One further comment on Ben Goldacre – for my money – one of the most significant impacts on results is indeed the move from norm referencing to criterion referencing. Another is the effect of league tables on the behaviour of teachers and the extent to which they assist particular groups of learners far more than they would have bothered to do in the past to make sure their grades reflect well on the school.
    The issue you raise about the perceived lowering of value of the A level is, in the literature, called creditial inflation and can apply at any level. Once upon a time you got a ‘graduate’ job if you had a degree when only 7% of the age group went to Uni. Now you are lucky to get one if you have a masters as a young adult (I am not talking about the kind of MA you are doing designed for professionals already in work). Credential inflation is a market-related concept and has no bearing on the standard of achievement. It is the number of people achieving drives the value down, because the number of graduate jobs does not increase at the same rate.

    27 Oct 2010, 16:21

  5. Juliet Nickels

    Thanks for replies, Cathie. Just for the record, I wasn’t complaining about the lack of reading list by the way! Remember, I hadn’t had any communication from the uni until your email about the Induction Evening – it had all gone astray into a non-existent email address!

    27 Oct 2010, 23:45

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