Measuring (any) learning LO13707

t.struck (
Fri, 23 May 1997 12:46:36 -0700

Replying to LO13658 --

Dear orglearners

Rol Fessenden wrote
>My experience is that any level of learning is relatively easy to assess
>through regular conversations between a mentor and a 'mentee'. No
>alternative that I am aware of has much practical value.

I can understand that this works as long as the mentor has an idea or
knowledge about the knowledge the mentee acquired. This, I think, may not
always be the case. Learning is, among others, an investment in the
future. It may be seen as a guess that what a person is about to learn is
right and has some value. Value, either for herself or himself or somebody
else. It has IMO an prognostic quality. This quality is even in the class
room, although the probability of failure, might be in some cases very
low, e.g. a pupil learning maths.

Somewhere between this high probability of the correct prognostication and
a very low probability of one, there lies the boundary where you just
can't measure people's learning. The boundary is probably not exact but
very fluid. My guess is, the less the outcome is predictable the more
craetivity is involved and the more I try to measure the learning the more
I limit creativity.

Any organisation has to figure out to which extend in needs creativity and
to which extend it can bear it.

("Oh Herr, Oh Herr, die Not ist gross
die Geister, die ich rief, werd ich jetzt nicht mehr los", Der
Zauberlehrling, Goethe (hopefully)).

All the best
Thomas Struck
University of Birmingham, United Kingdom


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