Credit where credit’s due

I was on the train on my way to Teachmeet yesterday when the news came through that our Scholarly Book Reviews had been marked and would soon be ready for collection. As I read Judy’s “examiner’s report” on the work of the cohort I started to worry that perhaps I hadn’t done as well as I thought. It was a nerve-racking few minutes battling intermittent connectivity (damn those tunnels) and navigating the not yet familiar EASTS facility before I found my result.

One of the things that has impressed me with this course is how well scaffolded and supported we are in preparing for and submitting assessment items. The rubric for the scholarly book review made things very clear and I don’t think anyone who read it carefully would be surprised at their result.┬áReading my essay with careful reference to the rubric I had decided that, as much as I might like a distinction, I would be happy with a credit.

But strangely, or not, I was (briefly) disappointed when I got what I knew I deserved. Guess I’m only human!

Today Bec Spink has posted her essay on her blog. As soon as I started reading it I understood why her work earned a distinction, the difference was obvious.

In recent years at my previous school there has been a strong focus on improving VCE results. The practices of teachers who consistently achieve results above expectation have been analysed and all VCE teachers have been trained and supported to change their practice, with some outstanding results. One of the strategies is to provide examples of excellent work for all assessment tasks. So perhaps the only thing we INF530 students lack for is predecessors who have shared their work like Bec has done. It’s the downside of being the first cohort in a new degree I guess.

So, if you want to see what a distinction looks like read Bec’s post. If you want to see what a credit looks like you can read mine. I’d love it if someone with a High Distinction would share theirs – is that you?

5 thoughts on “Credit where credit’s due

  1. My result was similar to yours and I was disappointed. I read the criteria many times and thought I was following them but obviously I didn’t apply them well enough to the task. I worked too chronologically through the book rather than specifically using the lens I established at the beginning. I also edited my own work more than I ever have before. The experience has taught me the importance of deep thinking about application of rubric measures – a good thing when I work with them all the time.

  2. I really appreciate you sharing your experience Heather, especially when it is not one you are overjoyed with. I always enjoy reading your posts in the forums and you are extremely generous with your links in Diigo. Thanks for being such a vocal member of this first cohort.

  3. Thanks for your honesty Heather. I to have been a regular reader of your posts and tweets, and felt your willingness to share and speak out is admirable. I too achieved a mark similar to you but was not disappointed. (I analysed the rubric and was perhaps harder on myself than the marker.) It was my first serious attempt at an academic book review at this level and I learnt so much while completing the task.

  4. Credit is good! But I would have reacted the same (and usually did when I did my Masters degree). It’s a good reminder of how our students might feel when they get something back and hoped for a better result. And we tell them that it’s not about the mark but the learning – but are no different. Isn’t it good that the work that earned a distinction was shared so you could see what it looked like.

  5. Thanks everyone for your comments. I am happy with my mark, my disappointment was only fleeting. Of course I would like to do better, but I’m going to have to do better work to get better results – having seen several other reviews I now have a much clearer idea of what better work actually looks like!

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