8.0159 Quality and Quality Improvement (1/53)
Elaine Brennan (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Tue, 30 Aug 1994 14:19:15 EDT
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 8, No. 0159. Tuesday, 30 Aug 1994.
Date: 26 Aug 94 10:43 CST
Subject: Quality and Quality Improvement for Teachers, Students
Quality judgments and continuous quality improvement opens Pandora's box
for many classroom teachers:
* How do you motivate students to recognize and desire top quality in their
* How can you continuously raise the standards of quality by which their
learning can be nudged upward and judged fairly?
* Can you involve students in evaluation without going soft and superficial?
* Can you give grades without appearing autocratic? feeding their hunger for
approval? or soliciting their dependency on your sole, authoritative, hard-
Whether your subject is writing, music, painting, mathematics, or
marketing, these problems often confuse the relationships between learners,
teachers, objectives, and the quality of individual achievement. In a word:
Can you effectively measure and quantify the quality of creative work done by
After 25 years of thought and experiment, I am convinced the answer is yes,
but not with traditional tools. Instead, I'd like to introduce THE QUALITY
EVALUATOR (QE for short). QE is a Macintosh-HyperCard, network compatible,
group-ware program that involves students (as well as instructors) in the
cooperative evaluation of their academic work by intrinsic standards and
consolidated group judgment.
The program has been developed over a two year period with support from
the Weeg Academic Computing Center of the University (and is copyrighted by the
University of Iowa). It has been class-room tested on local campuses in
diverse situations and disciplines.
Now I'd like to recruit a larger group of teacher-users for QE.
Consequently I will send to the first 100 persons who request them copies of
the DOCUMENTATION (66 pages, with illustrations, explanation of concepts and
procedures, and instructions for using the HyperCard windows) and a DISKETTE of
the program. Or I can send the compressed data over the Internet.
QE does not require computers or networks, however. If you don't have a
lot of student computers available, paper, pencil, and the Xerox machine can
also be used to gather participant judgments, assemble the results, and
distribute feedback. The concepts are more useful than the machinery than
enables this new approach to group evaluation by center-outward discrimination
of relative quality.
All I ask in return is feedback from you and your students: your responses,
suggestions for improvement, problems, etc. And if you have questions about
the evaluation procedure during this test period, I will also answer them
directly and personally by e-mail. I'd like to hear of your reactions by next
December or January, i.e., the end of the Fall semester, 1994.
If you are interested, please--
or snail-mail to:
Dept. of English, 308 E.P.B.
Univ. of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242
Office phone: (319) 335 0468