The RSD paradox or RSD groups

Following on from Sylvia’s question about the last ten years we have found that the RSD framework is hard for people- educators or students- to understand the first or second time round. At the same time, the RSD articulates something that some people find illuminating, and helpful for learning, teaching and researching. And it turns out the complexity is helpful for some.

After 10 years of RSD use and evaluation we are starting to find out the difficulties that educators and students face.

What was your first encounter with the RSD like? Instant epiphany? Slow dawning? Disineterest.

What ways did you find helpful to overcome any initial barriers of understanding/applicability/implementation?

As we are starting to use reskidev to encourage sharing of RSD practice, you might not only repond to my questions, but also pose your own questions and problems with RSD use! You may get some insightful answers.

My hope is that as people begin to share their ideas/resources/questions/ problems, we see an organic and growing set of RSD resources, reviewed by colleagues, thet may eventually go oto

A perennial problem is student group work – students dont like being lumped into groups, as some bear the load and some dont contribute. Sometimes one member is too bossy and prevents the others from working or working effectively. Frequently, students are asked to assess others’ contributions, and this results in sometimes higher marks.

In the Austrlian 29/10/15 one author slammed the practice of groupwork, as inneffective.

Yet group assessmnets are often valuable as ways that students learn skills of communication, collaboration, leadership, management and to be accountable to others.

So, why dont we flip group work?: Make it more valuable if students have a dysfunctional group?

Especially early in a degree, we could ask students to focus on team processes,  identify impediments and articulate strategies that they (individually) dealt with them, as well as other processes, drafts and final product.

Why not have interim feedback from other teams that identify strengths and weaknesses according to criteria, but the allocation of marks relate to how they respond to peers, rather than what peers say. Also, the effectiveness of the feedback they give to other groups could be an assessable feature.

Maybe this needs to be more on my problems

eg At symposium, someone said ‘RSD doesn’t show groupwork’

I thought it does- ‘students’ plural. The word ‘team’ is in facets a, d,e & f.

Suggest ways to make the RSD capture a sense of team processes more clearly (without writing off individual work)

Invite people to give ideas on RSD in groupwork

RSDzone is a linkedIn group

#rsdzone for any tweets

Author: johnwillison

Senior Leturer, Discipline of Higher Education, School of Education, University of Adelaide.

1 thought on “The RSD paradox or RSD groups”

  1. Hi John,

    My experience is that a good number of people find it difficult to understand the Framework. At one point, I developed a translation of Levels 1 to 4 in an effort to encourage some academic clients to consider it. I did it in consultation with a small group of that client base. I only managed to win over one academic at the time (though a little more interest seems to be developing now).

    I also created a student translation of Levels 1 & 2 for a student who was really struggling with the scholarly elements of his assessment but doing really well with the discipline elements of his assessment. For the student, its contribution actually seemed to have the potential to be tranformative (& I’m talking Mezirow here). Not only was he able to understand what was being asked of him where he previously could not; without any prompting from me, he was able to see why that was important to his learning, how the scholarly knowledge & skills interacted with the discipline knowledge & skills, & how it his capacity would build over time.

    I think that his rapid recognition of the interactions had a lot to do with the fact that he worked “in industry” & had done so for about twenty years, & was probably not so surprising for the kind of person (& so worker & student) he was. But, I was stunned that the (translated) Framework had such an impact on the scholarly side of things – I had expected that to take a couple of courses to really sink in – but he was off to talk to his lecturer about things straight after our chat. He came into my office a very stressed, disappointed & disheartened learner & left believing that he could be the scholarly that his undergraduate program was demanding of him. And, given the feedback from his tutor, she was as convinced as he was 🙂 Sandra (USQ)

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