Student Empowerment in Higher Education through Participatory Evaluation.



This paper is concerned with sharing between students and teacher the power to manage a course that engages heterogeneous student populations in a blended learning environment in higher education. Our aim is not just to see how the students can be empowered to act autonomously, but rather to understand how they can fare as full partners of the course management experience. To this end, we engage them in a cultural transformation based on strategies that promote their participation in their own learning and evaluation. This is done with the help of the evaluation star, an ideogram we have developed to support these strategies. Our study draws on principles proposed by Dewey, Freire, Knowles, Mezirow, and Fetterman, and follows a research approach based on two action research cycles that involve different courses, subjects, and students. Our study, which can be seen as a proof of concept, shows that the students have learned to evaluate and accept evaluation, share critical reflections, and take responsibility for their contributions. They have also participated democratically in their learning process and have built change, quality, and competent collective learning.


Blended-learning, empowerment evaluation, higher education, participatory evaluation.


Virtual Learning Environments: Assessment, Collaboration, Community


41st ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference., October 2011

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