With the existing transition from traditional education inspired by the notion of standardization toward more recent approaches, there is an emphasis on treating students as individuals. Taking this individualist approach seems necessary in both teaching the course content and assessing the student work. In “The Puzzle of Motivation” Pink discussed the trio of autonomy, mastery, and purpose as the most important aspects of self-actualization, which is somehow missing in today’s world of business and education. Also, Elbow (1993) discussed a number of problems associated with rank-based assessments and the benefits of qualitative evaluation methods. The contemporary way of looking at education and the two arguments made by Pink and Elbow call for a need for individual goal-oriented assessments. In the context of prevalent practice in higher education, there is typically no place for such integrated assessment methods. The common approach is that students take a number of different core and elective courses each with a separate assessment method. Although there are some levels of autonomy in selecting the elective course, the existing teaching methods do not really encourage autonomy, mastery, and any individual purpose other than passing the course and moving to the next semester. Nor is there a goal-oriented assessment attached to a self-development plan based on the gradual mastery of the curricular content. I believe the major takeaway of the Pink and Elbow’s argument for contemporary pedagogical practices is that beyond base-line assessment techniques, instructors need to work with students to develop an individual self-development plan. Then, based on primarily qualitative assessment methods, instructors should help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and move toward their self-set goals. Pursuing a set of goals that have personal meanings while receiving proper feedback directed toward personal achievement could increase intrinsic motivation and lead to student success (Cherry, 2017).
- Cherry, K. (2017). Intrinsic motivation. (Blog Post)
- Elbow, P. (1993). Ranking, evaluating, and liking: Sorting out three forms of judgment. College English, 55(2), 187-206.
- Pink, D. (2009) The Puzzle of Motivation. (YouTube Video)