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Learning as Change

Posted By: Jay Powell on July 1, 2016
Hello James,
We are much closer to an effective assessment system than your remarks portend. See:
Powell, J. C. & Shklov N. (1992). Obtaining information about learners’ thinking strategies from wrong answers on multiple-choice tests. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 52, 847-865.
This paper, now of a quarter century vintage, shows a method of tracking student behavior over time that uses every answer and multiple administrations of the same or closely parallel instruments.
The main diagonal of a cross tabulated matrix captures the stopping points in students' development and the off-diagonals captures the transitions.
Since the actual answer selections are developmentally and/or psychologically appropriate selections, the patterns of stability and change map progress, both ascending and descending in cognitive maturity (CM).
In the instruments we have been using, the modes of subsets of answer are systematically related the the participants chronological ages. Changes related to personal situational complications and to deliberate intervention both are revealed in the dynamics, as are cultural and learning style factors. Research linking dynamical processes to responses has barely begun in the absence of applying our techniques, which bypass linear dependency as is necessary for non-linear cognitive phenomena. I get the impression that many people are very close to a breakthrough, but are still thinking in dichotomous (GLM) terms.
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 Learning as Change by Jay Powell on July 1, 2016
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