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Abstract

This example paper demonstrates how the frames feature of Netscape can be used to present a conventional academic paper, complete with publication information, abstract, figures, footnotes, and bibliography. Using this template, it is not difficult to tag an existing academic paper for this kind of display on the Web. It is not necessary to make the paper "hyper textual" in order to present it in this manner. Of course, you can also create hyper textual links from conventional papers to other sources of information quite easily, and you can also modify this structure to suit entirely different purposes. My goal was to provide a way to present conventional as well as hyper textual academic work in a format that will support all of the conventions we have come to expect in print media, while allowing for the hyper textual potential of the Web. The title, in the window above, is linked to publication information about this paper. You may email comments directly by clicking on the author's name, above. There are links below demonstrating three different ways to display figures, as well as links for footnotes, which appear in the footnotes window. Readers may resize the footnote window (or any other window) to view a larger print area for long footnotes. The Syverson Home Page link demonstrates how to take readers directly to the author's home page, replacing the frame window with the home page window, rather than displaying the home page within the frames here. Warning! This is a demonstration, not an actual paper! Introduction: Overview of the key problem or question. This paper argues that all evaluation has significant rhetorical dimensions, which are often overlooked. This is particularly dangerous where there are high stakes for evaluation and assessment, as in educational assessment and workplace evaluations. Purposes and audiences for such assessments differ, yet there is little understanding of their deeply rhetorical nature. We have for some time accepted the "scientific" rhetoric of measurement experts as unquestionably "objective," "valid," and "reliable." Recently, however, the grounds for the

"scientific" approach to evaluation and assessment have been challenged; the methods and outcomes have been criticized, and most damaging in these bitter financial times for education, the costs have been questioned. The seduction of science is the promise of prediction and classification in the face of uncertainty. It is a false promise for education. The essence of learning is change; indeed, it is defined by change. Yet the only way we can make the inherently uncertain dynamics of learning predictable is to violently constrain the environments and activities in which students and teachers are engaged. But perhaps prediction and classification are no longer necessary or even desirable, now that even factories are abandoning the Taylor model, and the declining numbers of manufacturing jobs are no longer stoking the demand for well-regulated, passive, modular workers. Instead we need creative, flexible, resourceful and interactive people to function well in rapidly changing workplaces, homes, and communities. How can we tell whether we are achieving this goal? We need to rethink the entire evaluation and assessment enterprise to even begin to address issues of technological change, rapid increase in collaborative enterprises, and uncertain career paths. Literature Review Part 1: The origins of the story, not necessarily according to Bateson. Evaluation and assessment, like every other form of human discourse, is rhetorically situated. This means that it emerges in an environment with linguistic, social, physical/material, and temporal dimensions, and that it depends upon and is co-constructed by speakers, texts, audiences, and occasions. All evaluation and assessment makes an argument in support of a judgment, to a particular audience for particular purposes. Challenges to both conventional forms of evaluation and their alternatives have been made on the basis of ethos (is the person or agency responsible for judging qualified, worthy, and credible?), on the

basis of logos (are the claims, evidence, methods, grounds, and warrants reasonable and well-supported?), and on the basis of pathos (how does the evaluation method, process, or outcome damage or gratify actual human beings? Who is being hurt; who is being privileged?) Part 2: The middle of of the story, not necessarily according to Hutchins. The presentation of an evaluation may take the form of a persuasive argument (intended to move the audience to some course of thought or action), or it may take the form of what Ramage and Bean call a "truth-seeking" argument, intended to discover, reveal, or interpret the truth about a matter, as far as that can be ascertained. Where the stakes are high, as they are in educational assessment, it is safe to assume that few evaluation or assessment procedures fall into the latter category. etc. Part 3: The conclusion of of the story, not necessarily according to Varela. Here are some examples of how assessment and evaluation measures are designed as arguments in conventional rhetorical forms: Definition argument: what is "fluency" in reading? Classification argument: What types of reading problems do we see among students at third grade level? How many children are fluent readers, less than fluent, or not fluent at all? Proposal: We can teach reading more effectively if we . . . use student mentors, use a whole-language approach, train teachers in some new method of reading instruction, tutor students individually. etc. References Bateson, Gregory. Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity. New York: Bantam Books, 1979. Hutchins, Edwin. Cognition in the Wild. MIT Press, 1995.

Varela, Francisco J., Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch. The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991.