Examination debriefing

John K. Andrews

Message 25964 · 11 May 2001 08:00:07 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Having recently gone through the examination process (I took my prelim in
April this year) I can state from personal experience that I found the
debriefing to be an extremely helpful and positive experience. The
examiner explained everything which subsequently appeared on the appraisal
form. He told me what I did right as well as what I need to work on and
gave me suggestions for improving both my personal dancing and my teaching.
Needless to say he took substantially longer than the "standard" ten
minutes. The examiners actually took about 30 minutes with each candidate
(we had four prelims and five teacher candidates). I would agree that the
appraisal forms are still a "work in progress", however, having said that,
I found the form helpful as it summarized what I had been told during the
debriefing. The appraisal form would not have been sufficient in itself to
fully inform me of the good and the bad of my examination.

As to Lee's suggestion that examinees be informed immediately as to whether
they passed or failed, I know that our examiners caucused for several hours
after the exams to consolidate there notes and impressions of the
candidates. While I would truly have liked to have known immediately if I
passed or failed, I appreciate the diligence and effort put forth by the
examiners to arrive at complete and fair results. The candidates in my
class all received there notifications in about two weeks (I understand
this is an improvement over what has previously been experienced). Perhaps
a procedure can be devised in the future to speed up the notification
process. Although, two weeks isn't bad, considering that Headquarters is
in the loop and the normal delays encountered with international mail.

As to the issue of keeping stooges waiting around while examiners debrief
candidates. I can say that our stooges didn't seem to mind. In fact one
of our teacher's was running a social dance session in another room for
dancers not involved in stooging (we conducted our exams on two regular
class nights) and for "off-duty" stooges. Also as someone who has stooged,
I can say that I never found any of the intervals caused by the debriefings
to be onerous.

Jay Andrews
Alexandria, VA, USA

At 05:18 PM 05/10/2001 -0500, you wrote:
>Echoing Peter's comment re the discussion at the recent Pearl Holmberg
>Workshop. There were two examiners present, and many teachers expressed
>their opinions about the verbal debriefing. My sense was that virtually
>everyone who spoke believed this was an extremely valuable aspect of the
>examination process. I understood that Elma McCausland was planning to
>report this to the Executive Council, and she urged those present to
>forward their views to the Council.
>
> From a personal perspective, I too found the feedback very helpful, and
>the session helped me come to a closure for the course and the exam. I
>took two pages of notes which I later reviewed with my tutor. The
>combination of the feedback, my synthesis of the notes and reviewing my
>notes with the tutor have helped guide my learning process as a
>teacher. There were a couple of elements in the debriefing which also
>appeared on the form I later received. Discussing the comments with the
>tutor helped my understanding of the suggestions. In fact, with only the
>written feedback I wouldn't have understood at all what the suggestion
>actually meant. (The differences were language and cultural between the UK

>and North America.)
>
>Noel Chavez
>Chicago
>
>At 11:05 AM 5/10/01 -0500, you wrote:
>>We heard about this from one of our members who attended the Pearl
Holmberg
>>Workshop (glowing review, by the way). The discussion there, as reported,
>>supports Mel's experience that this proposal (to do away with verbal
>>debriefing) is _not_ unanimously supported by examiners, the wording of
>>the committee minutes notwithstanding. The rationale for the proposal,
>>again as reported, is that it keeps volunteers (the dancers required to
>>support the examination) standing around. We have instructed our delegate
>>to RSCDS Executive to oppose the proposal.
>>
>>Peter McClure
>>Winnipeg, MB
>

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