Overview of our Evaluation
Our process of ongoing feedback and self-evaluation
Our courses have adapted problem-based learning and competency-based
evaluation designed for online learning in small, interactive groups.
A rapid give and take then takes place which allows you to discover
how participants within different cultures and educational backgrounds
define and respond to the shared questions differently. Meanwhile, at
the same time as you give feedback to others, you will receive feedback
from persons with different backgrounds. Inside this process, the tutor/mentor
offers his/her own reflections and words of appreciation. From time
to time, you will even receive clarifying questions that will invite
you to further examine and clarify the responses that you have offered.
This teaching environment, in particular the incorporation of small
group learning and collaborative work, fosters self-reliance, problem
solving, and the recognition of the limits of one's own knowledge and
skills. Thus, each course has it's internal process of ongoing feedback
Learning and evaluation in the traditional classroom
In the traditional classroom, formal exams normally serve as the principal means whereby professors grade their students. These exams endeavor to gauge how well a student has assimilated the factual content and theoretical understanding presented by the professor during the time of the course.
Formal exams are only marginally effective when it comes to evaluating skill formation and personal growth. When it comes to training doctors, lawyers, or pastoral ministers, those who gain the highest marks in exams are oftentimes those who are particular inept as practitioners. Formal exams, consequently, tend to skew the formation process in the direction of overemphasizing theoretical understanding that is, to varying degrees, divorced from effective practice and personal growth.
In the best of classrooms, everyone has something to teach and everyone has something to learn, including the professor. Catherine College provides a safe place wherein women can find their true voices and to express them freely. The bonding that takes place in the virtual classroom must accordingly be joined with a shared sense of respect and mystery in the face of co-learners struggling to become their authentic selves even when they have for so long been beaten down and forced to adapt roles that conceal their true voices.
Evaluation within competency-based learning
Within any given course, there are three ways of evaluating progress in acquiring the performance skills to which the course is devoted:
1. Exploratory Questions
In our typical course, there are repeated opportunities to express oneself in responding to the Exploratory Questions in each Lesson. These Exploratory Questions enable the participant to make use of personal experience, theoretical understanding, and verified judgments. Consider the following questions posed during the first lesson in Pat Pinsent's course, Role Perceptions of Women in Children's Literature:
The role of these questions is to allow the participant to begin to
see how even fairy tales enable children to enter into a make-believe
situation that offers them entertainment and training. Particular ways
of acting and thinking are endorsed. Other ways of acting and thinking
are discouraged. By beginning with one's own story, one soon discovers
the guidance and the ideological presuppositions hidden within every
story (e.g., the parables of Jesus, modern films).
2. Giving and receiving feedback
After posting ones hunches to the Probative Questions, then there is the opportunity to learn from the responses of others. This goes back to the realization that everyone has something to teach in every course. The give and take that follows the posting offers an opportunity to deepen ones understanding and to correct misleading projections.
3. Mid-term and final essays
Half way through the course, you have the opportunity to display your learning skills by doing a short independent analysis. This usually takes a few hours. At the end of the course, each one has the opportunity of doing a more extensive research project. This may require anywhere between six and twelve hours. Details for how to do this are supplied to participants after the mid-term. In each instance, the subjects chosen are from a list provided by the course moderator.
Coordination with local tradition
The final grade assigned in any given course can be adapted to mirror the system already in place within each academic institution. For those who require a final grade, we normally suggest that this process begin with the student's self-evaluation in each of the three areas named above. The facilitator/tutor then responds to the student's self-evaluation and assigns a grade.
For those who prefer that the facilitator/tutor or the institution's coordinator assign a grade, this modality can also be accommodated. In this case, however, it is best to weigh how each component will contribute to the final grade, for example:
Notice of our non-discriminatory policy
|Catherine of Siena Virtual College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, ancestry, military discharge or status, marital status, parental status, or any other protected status in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship, and loan programs. Otherwise qualified persons are not subject to discrimination on the basis of disability.|