[1. 2. 2. 2]

Quantitative Assessments. A quantitative rating, such as the Overall Personal Ratings on the DFS, are best seen as declarations. Declarations are sociopolitical acts in that someone's reputation is implicated: the ratee as well as the rater. Both psychodynamic and ethnodynamic fields are involved in their execution. For example, student evaluations of courses is official information used in decisions on faculty promotions, pay raise applications, and teaching awards. Thus, the instructor's reputation is implicated in the declarations students make in course evaluations. As well, the student's reputation is implicated as evidenced by the administrative rules surrounding the context of presentation of students' declarations on the course (evaluations): the instructor is to be out of class when the declaration in writing is made by the students; the declarations are to be anonymously given; and the instructor may not see the declarations (results of survey evaluations on course) until after grades are handed in to administration officials [based on covering letter of instructions to course instructors, Office of Academic Evaluations, University of Hawaii, December 1977]. The situation may be depicted relative to the communication diagram discussed in the previous Section [1. 2. 2. 1]:

This figure depicts the conditional rules for the sociopolitical act of quantitative assessments within the context of end-of- semester, anonymous, student course-evaluations. These are called anonymous summative evaluations (or reports) in the educational testing field, versus the DFS used in this course, which would be referred to as formative tests (or reports). (This distinction was made by the Director of the Academic Evaluation Office in a telephone conversation with the instructor of Psychology 222.) A further characterization is to be added since the DFS, in Fall 1977, was only partially anonymous given that the instructor was known by all to have a master list of the Secret I. D. Numbers. A contrast between totally anonymous summative comments (non-quantitative assessment) and partially anonymous summative comments is given in the case report in Section [1.2.4].

Note how sociopolitical acts (like official declarations) have rules associated with them; these rules are enforced by the ethnodynamic forces operative in the situation. Thus, the student course evaluation is a class activity occasioned by setting rules. Setting rules are visible in the observable sequence of acts carried out by the participants, as well as in the visible consequences of opposing, counteracting, or violating the rules. Thus, the figure on the preceding page depicts fl, f2, and f3 as blocked by the conditional rules of the activity in question. As you can see in the figure, F4 and F5 are the new channels of available communication. "F4" justifies institutional sanctions and rewards, while "F5" justifies faculty rights.

Thus far, we have been discussing external frame control in quantitative evaluative assessments. Now let us consider internal frame control. The contrast is depicted in the following figure:

This figure shows that institutional practices (rules, precedents, procedures) encompass, frame, or occasion activities of the participants. Here, students, administration officials, and the instructor are the participants whose activities are regulated by contemporary academic practices (e.g. Student Course Evaluations).

Let us now discuss a case involving internal frame control of the quantitative assessments given in the DFS, Fall 1977. This case will reveal certain generally interesting ethnodynamic properties of quantitative assessments of naturally occurring events on the daily round.


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