Thursday, November 9, 2017

Wrong paradigm: Nobody expects to be evaluated on their results

I recently set a (tiny, 2%) task for some students whereby they got measured on results rather than the effort.
I asked them to trim up a data file and then share it with me through - pretty much - any cloud method they wanted.

I made it very clear that the only thing I wanted to do was click on the link and open it up. I had told them that I could be anywhere and using any account. I might be in Botswana, I might be using a Gmail account or Hotmail or whatever.

A significant number failed. They mistakenly introduced authorities that meant I couldn't read it; they shared rather than providing a shareable link - there were a fair few ways to screw this up.
And only one way to get it right.

When they got right I would just click a hyperlink and download the file.
Imagine the outcry when I failed them purely because they could not get me the file.
  • "But I work so hard on this"
  • "But I need to be able to pass this"
  • "But all you needed to do was contact me so that I could fix it up"
  • "You know what I meant"
  • "I don't understand computers"
  • "Maybe there is a language problem"

It has been interesting to see what happens when you force people to be assessed on results rather than the effort they put in. And the idea that a whole heap of effort might come to absolutely nothing because of one simple mistake - unthinkable!

"Welcome to the party, pal!" Welcome to life.

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