How Assessment Affects Engagement
If I’m doing work for a grade I’m, at least to some degree, being compliant to the ways in which someone else wants me to do something. Some of that compliance, of course, is just good mentorship. There are certainly better ways to do some things, and not all things are up for grabs. I don’t want my child exploring their way to learning how to drive. Exploration is not the best way to approach a million-dollar piece of machinery in a lab, the mental health of a research subject, or the proper citation in a paper.
Professors don’t assess you on whether you know THE material, its based on whether you know THEIR material – A student
The important thing is to figure out what pieces of learning should be at the discretion of the student and which ones should not. If you ask a student for a personal reflection and you grade it on ‘quality’ you are probably restricting that reflection. Students will work to ‘guess’ what you want them to do and react accordingly instead of doing the work they would actually want to produce.