Radu Luchian(ov): Pastime: Commentary
On Feedback

I don't think God created the world all by Itself. Even if It did, my bet is on the theory that It did so in order to have something, then someone, to bounce ideas off of. Concepts, just like language, are the result of interaction, of convention. That's why the outer coating of the parable of Genesis as exposed in the Vedas or in the Greek/Roman mythology sounds so much more accurate than the linguistic source described in the Bible ("In the beginning was the Word and the Word was Light").

That's what teamwork is all about. Having several perspectives from which to look at the problem at hand. Discussing goals and strategies. Helping each other learn.

Feedback. I'd rather spend my time on some useful or entertaining activity than write papers on which I know I will not receive any real feedback. That's one of my major peeves about the bureaucratization of the academic environment. In the old days when masters had apprentices, there was time to consider the output from every student and give appropriate feedback. Nowadays it's all grades and bell-shaped curves and form-based exams. The lucky student who gets some feedback, gets it as an irresponsibly normative and nondescriptive yes/no answer or grade. Even when better profs bust their eyes and brains on hundreds of essays and try to write down remarks, that's no feedback:

"But it's all much better than the prof spending individual time with the students" (say the perpetual defenders of status quo). You want an alternative? Here it is:

An interactive system that would allow the profs/TAs to record feedback in modular bits as they write it for the first time on a topic, which can later on be put together to generate coherent comments in much less time than it would take to rewrite the comments.
This system would:

Fantasy? Call me crazy then, but I'll keep working on such a system as part of my MonTaGe project. Specifically, the modified prototype of the Raven marking system.


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