Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Pleasant Surprise

I could scarcely believe my good fortune when I opened the following email earlier today:

Dear Dr Giles,

Congratulations, your paper “Being ‘in’ assessment: The ontological layer(ing) of assessment practice” published in Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education has been selected by the journal’s editorial team as the Outstanding Paper of 2014. We aim to increase dissemination of such a high quality article as much as possible and aim to promote your paper by making it freely available for one year. I will confirm once the free access has gone live so that you will be able to let others know. This will be in the next couple of weeks. As a winner you will receive a certificate. Where possible, we like to organise for you to be presented with your certificate in person. We will be in touch with you shortly (next few weeks) in the hope that we can organize a presentation. Again, many congratulations on your award. We will be in touch with you regarding our plans to promote and present your award very soon. Please do not respond to this mail asking about when your chapter will be made freely available or about possible presentations. I will be in touch soon with all the details!! 

Best regards,
Jim Bowden
Academic Relations Manager | Emerald Group Publishing Limited 
Tel: +44 (0)1274 785013 | Fax: +44 (0)1274 785200

Now, I must confess that I had some difficulty recalling the details of what I'd written to deserve this unexpected honour. But it must have been pretty darned good!

So, to refresh my memory I took a quick look at the 2014 volume of the journal in question. (Bookmark this link for future free access!)

Sure enough, there I it was - not the lead article, but close enough (apparently):

For reasons that I simply can't fathom, our library doesn't subscribe to this journal. For reasons that I definitely can fathom, neither do I! The promised free access has not yet "gone live", so I'll have to spare you the pleasure of a replication of the full text of the article here.

However, by way of recompense, here's the abstract:


– Current discourses on educational assessment focus on the priority of learning. While this intent is invariably played out in classroom practice, a consideration of the ontological nature of assessment practice opens understandings which show the experiential nature of “being in assessment”. The purpose of this paper is to discuss these issues.


– Using interpretive and hermeneutic analyses within a phenomenological inquiry, experiential accounts of the nature of assessment are worked for their emergent and ontological themes.


– These stories show the ontological nature of assessment as a matter of being in assessment in an embodied and holistic way.


– Importantly, the nature of a teacher's way-of-being matters to assessment practices. Implications exist for teacher educators and teacher education programmes in relation to the priority of experiential stories for understanding assessment practice, the need for re-balancing a concern for professional knowledge and practice with a students’ way of being in assessment, and the pedagogical implications of evoking sensitivities in assessment.

I can hardly believe I wrote that!

(I have replied to Mr. Bowden, expressing my gratitude but suggesting that a certain David Giles in the School of Education at Flinders University in Australia may be even more pleased to hear from him than I was.)

© 2015, David E. Giles