Managing the sublime aesthetic when communicating an assessment regime: The Burkean Pendulum
AuthorsKofinas, Alexander K.
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AbstractThe importance of understanding students’ engagement is prominent in higher education. Assessment is a main driver of student engagement, a phenomenon known as backwash. I argue that students’ engagement with learning is often driven by an aesthetic motivation. I establish the connections between Burke’s (and Kant’s) conceptualisation of aesthetics as a dichotomy of beauty and the sublime (which I label the Burkean pendulum) to motivation. I explore the links between this aesthetic motivation and the assessment regime focusing on the Burkean/Kantian sublime and suggest four communication strategies to manage the sublime when it arises in students’ education journeys. My contributions are twofold:firstly, I introduce the Burkean Pendulum as a means for educators to reflect on the aesthetic aspects of their designed assessment regimes. Secondly, I propose a framework of communication strategy narratives (Thriller, Horror, Exploration, and Action) that could be used to manage the sublime of the assessment regime.
CitationKofinas AK (2017) 'Managing the sublime aesthetic when communicating an assessment regime: The Burkean Pendulum', Management Learning 49 (2) 204-221
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