Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

OA student publishing as an assessment tool

Jos van Helvoort, Student publishing as an assessment tool for assignments and research papers, Open Students blog, February 13, 2008.

... As a teacher in Library & Information Studies I often give my students assignments to investigate a business case or to construct information management instruments. Usually, one of their products is a research paper. More and more, students publish these papers on the Internet, in best cases via a document sharing platform like Scribd. Those "YouTubes for documents" offer comment functions and are for that reason very popular. However, from my point of view as a teacher, those platforms miss the use of judgment of the documents in advance. Happily we now can use Open Access resources for self archiving (like E-LIS or CoRR) that are moderated and for more than one reason are extremely sufficient for an authentic means of assessment:

  • Quality of the report or paper submitted is measured by the professional environment (a moderator or peer researchers)
  • Students have to reflect about the metadata that they are going to add to their paper. This means that they have to apply their knowledge about indexing and subject analysis
  • Studentís work is not done for school or university but for the studentís own development.

As has been argued for many years (see for instance Carrie Denman, 1995) the authentic task of publishing motivates students extremely. So why should I not use the publishing act in a peer reviewed journal or a moderated repository as an assessment tool for my students?