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In this post CRADLE PhD student Ameena L. Payne reviews our latest seminar by CRADLE’s very own PhD graduate Dr Abbas Mehrabi Boshrabadi and PhD student Juan Fischer. Ameena highlights the three interrelated components of Evaluative Judgement, and learns how the theory of practice architectures fits in.

Evaluative Judgement (EJ) can be thought of as students’ understandings of quality and students’ ability to make appraisals of their own and other’s work; EJ is positioned as an important capability of lifelong and lifewide learning. Presented by CRADLE’s newly minted PhD graduate, Dr. Abbas Mehrabi Boshrabadi, and soon-to-be graduate, Juan Fischer, the distinct presentations were aptly woven into a cohesive session.

Dr Abbas Mehrabi Boshrabadi

Abbas introduced his sequenced studies which centred the development of EJ in academic writing of first-year undergraduate students; the first year of university signalling significant scholarly independence when considering aspects of assessment, such as analysation of standards of academic performance. Abbas highlighted three interrelated components that are aligned to students’ development of EJ:

1) understanding standards and quality,

2) making judgements, and

3) taking actions.

He also discussed four key pedagogical activities that promote students’ EJ: 1) peer-review, 2) group discussion, 3) reflection on performance, and 4) instructor led interventions.

Juan Fischer

In alignment with positioning EJ as discipline-specific and context dependent, Juan’s presentation addressed contextual aspects of EJ using Kemmis’ theory of practice architectures. Juan’s ethnographic research focused on EJ development within undergraduate physics students of all year levels through the process of writing lab reports. He explored how EJ takes place in students’ practices and how socio-political, cultural-discursive and economic-material arrangements shape, enable and constrain EJ – in other words, how practice architectures manifest in students’ ideas of what a good lab report is and how to produce one. Juan concludes that EJ is also situated in the ‘here and now’ and within constraints of current conditions.

The development of EJ is a means to reveal and address tensions between students’ judgements and educators’ expectations and for students to exercise agency. Reflecting on their work, Abbas and Juan closed the seminar by sharing their recommendations for developing students’ EJ.

If you are interested in watching or listening to the seminar, including the Q&A, please feel free to access the recording via the CRADLE YouTube channel.

Don’t forget, CRADLE Seminar Series #6: An increasing role for theory in academic integrity research and practice: Some Psychology studies, statistics and stories by Dr Guy Curtis will be held on Tuesday 12 July 2022 at 2pm (AEST). Be part of the event by registering now!