I just gave a presentation about FC Sprint² as she comes up to me. She teaches at a university and would like to discuss something. She tells me that her students do not know how to write an essay any more. They overwhelm her with questions. So she is thinking about organizing a training and making it mandatory for her students to be present. She asks for my opinion.
I ask her if she can describe in four or five sentences what is essential for a good essay. Or does she wait for the students to wait to hand in the essay and then decides if it sufficient or not. She nods. I just told her about clear expectations. That it is essential to make clear when you are satisfied as a teacher. What does success look like? She says she can not tell it in four or five sentences. She knows it as soon as she sees the essay.
I ask her if she has an example of a good essay and if she gives it to her students. She obviously has good examples, but they are never actually used for this purpose. We observe together that it may not be so strange that her students have no idea what to do and continue to overwhelm her with questions. In education we need to move towards a situation where the students hand in an essay, knowing it’s a good essay. If our students have no idea when a product is good enough and hope that they get a sufficient grade, then we have not formulated our expectations and intentions clearly enough.