Teachers’ evaluations

Course: Locating oneself in global learning

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Evaluation of Learning Plan by Sam Paldanius:


Submitted 23 September 2008 14:45 by Oscar Vallazza
Participants Oscar Vallazza
Title Oscar’s Learning Plan and Capabilities Self-Assessment Schedule
Status Submitted
Assessed by Sam Paldanius
Assessment Excellent
Comment Hi Oscar. Thank you for an excellent learning plan. I enjoyed reading it. The structure of your presentation makes it easy to understand how you want to integrate your own resources (capabilities) with actions and the program. The layout is good and well thought through. I like the fact that you refer to the criticism from your learning partner. Very good stuff.

In fact it is hard to say much more than that this is an excellent piece of work. All the parts I want to see is in place and well described. I believe you have put a significant amount of effort to the learning plan, and I don’t mean the number of pages. Here is a question for you.

You keep mentioning the “conflict transformation” throughout your text. I’m not an English native and so I have to ask, does the concept refer to transformation from conflict to less conflict or does it mean conflict to a different type of conflict? In my experience conflict is both good and bad depending on perspective. Can you clarify your view and thus maybe develop the capability of intercultural communication?

As I am sure you already know, your plan is a bit too big. Can you give the same message with half the pages? That is also an important capability, which you can develop during the course.

All in all an excellent learning plan. Good luck in the next course.

Best regards
Sam Paldanius

Course: Adult learning: context and perspectives

Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden, EU


Evaluation of first Term Paper by

Madeleine Abrandt Dahlgren and Song-ee Ahn:



Submitted 14 November 2008 13:05  Title – Assignment 1 – Essay
Status Submitted
Assessed by Madeleine Abrandt Dahlgren IADM
Assessment Excellent
Comment Oscar,
You have written an Excellent essay! Song-ee will get back to you with comments.
Best wishes

29 November 2008 15:50:55

Dear Oscar

I have read your assignment 1 with a great interest. At first when I read your description of the theories, I think that the description is somewhat short. However when I read the second part of your assignment where you discuss about the three concepts (context, meaning and experience), you show your understanding of the theories and comparison. You explain clearly what the concepts refer to and the relationship between concepts within theories and you compare the theories. I also appreciate your reflection and the fact that you have read additional readings.

Therefore we assess that your assignment 1 is excellent.

Best wishes

Song-ee Ahn

Course: Work and learning

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Evaluation of Final Report by Deo Bishundayal


Work & Learning Assignment Three Feedback – Oscar Vallazza

I enjoyed reading your well organised paper, Oscar. It gave me an insight about the challenges that Trentino faces as it tries to match learning and work in today’s globalized context. I appreciated that you included a title page, a table of contents and a list of references used.

In your introduction you alerted the reader what you will focus on in the paper. The literature review provided a good portrait of the issues which scholars and policy makers currently debate in the domain of work and learning.

The section on the legislative prerogatives and vision of Trentino drew attention to the difficulties in changing work practices/cultures. I appreciated the points that you made when you stated “the province still shows several weak points that are affecting future transformations: cooperation between science and industry and within business sector could be expanded; the presence of a strong public sector with propensity for subsidies; an underdeveloped entrepreneurial culture with a small industrial base; and a fragmented and segmented firm structure.”

Your recommendations were based on the points which you developed in the paper.

In your conclusion you projected a sense of optimism that “Trentino appears to be well-equipped to meet the challenges emerging from globalization processes” despite the uncertainties of our time. In politics and public policy, planning for change is a never ending process which conveys optimism. This you have done in your recommendations.

There are a few things that you may want to consider for future work, Oscar.

  1. Pay attention to in-text referencing when using ‘pp’ or ‘p.’ APA rules suggest that ‘pp’ is used in the reference section to indicate chapter pages of a book, etc.; ‘p’ is used when you reproduce a direct quote. On page seven, for instance, you wrote “….embracing the concept of foresight, defined as “a systematic attempt to look into the longer-term future and draw conclusions for today.”” This quote has to be referenced.
  2. If you paraphrase the central idea of someone’s work, you do not have to write the page number; writing the year will suffice.
  3. Some works which you referred to were undated. For example, on page three, “Brooker and Butler’s research” should be written as “Brooker and Butler’s (date) research” and “research by Warner et al., shows…” should be written as “research by Warner et al.(date), shows…” These references should be included in the bibliography. Both were missing.
  4. You have to tendency to start paragraphs, as in the literature review section, with a writer’s name and year of her/his work. This type of listing in academic writing raises questions about what idea is embedded in the topic sentence of the paragraph…..the writer as a person or her/his idea?  It is better to paraphrase the writer’s idea and write the reference at the end of the topic sentence. Within the paragraph it is OK, as you develop your argumentation, to start sentences with a writer’s name and date of her/his work.
  5. Try to synthesise ideas to form paragraphs which have more than one sentence.
  6. Provide some examples of non-EU countries from where immigrants to Trentino hail.

You are a good writer, Oscar. Future work will be greatly improved if you were to pay attention to the nuances which I pointed out above.

Grade: Very Good

Keep up the good work, Oscar. I wish you continued success in the ALGC program.

Deo.   April 5, 2009.

Course: Fostering learning in practice

Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Evaluation of first term paper by Lorraine White: EXELLENT


From Lorraine White (tutor and evaluator, Monash University):

Oscar, I also teach many international students but have been given very little training in intercultural communication by my workplace that will help me address the very real issues that have emerged, so the concern you raise about the need to improve this situation has also become obvious to me. There are a number of strengths in this paper, so well done! You have put a great deal of effort into the paper, gathering a range of resources beyond the readings that support your theorizing well. Your understanding of the readings is obvious and you have thoughtfully considered the concepts outlined in the readings. This paper is very thorough, well organized and professionally presented, helping the reader to follow where you are going with the development of your paper.

I can see how the incident with your student would have struck a chord, especially when you felt that you have certain experiences that put you in a position of being very understanding and supportive of students from a range of cultural backgrounds. I suspect that this incident made you question something that you had taken for granted about yourself, made you question your own assumptions (or is that my assumption?). You recount the event with the student but could have gone further in unraveling how this affected or challenged you and why. So I would have liked you to draw out further the assumptions, tensions and contradictions embedded in your case. My concern is that you do not analyze in quite enough depth where you and your identity fit into the case. That process of self reflection is not easy ? it can be quite confronting and challenging.

Nevertheless, this is a fine effort, Oscar. Congratulations!

Evaluation of Final Report by Lorraine White: EXELLENT


Oscar, you’ve done a ‘cracker’ of a paper, here. Congratulations!

The paper comprehensively addresses the requirements of the assignment and is really well structured. Your case is succinctly stated and the argument is well focused. You have put together a convincing argument in a logical form that flows fluently. I really like the way that you have progressed from micro to macro levels in section 2. You have used relevant references way beyond the required readings for the unit.
You have a clear understanding of the theoretical concepts. Your analysis and reflection on these as they apply to your case and learning dimension is really good. What you have also done well is identified issues and problems in implementing proposed actions for addressing your ‘hot issue’.

Ways of improving this assignment

My only suggestion is that you have considered strategies for addressing your ‘hot issue’ at the macro level more, and it would be really useful to consider pushing your thoughts about that micro level in a little more depth, especially since you structured section 2 around these levels. This is not a huge criticism though, Oscar.

General comments

I know that you point out the difficulties of doing a great deal in your workplace to address the issues that concern you, particularly as a part-time teacher but there may be other ways for you to consider taking positive action to improve intercultural communications that can be developed over time on a very practical level. For instance by discussing concerns with peers, managers and those who have roles in the institute. You probably already do this, but it does get you to the right people and networks where you can make further inroads. Anyway, you have put in a magnificent effort in this unit, Oscar and I wish you all the best.

Grade descriptor: EXCELLENT

Well done

Lorraine White-Hancock

Course: Global/local learning

University of Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

Evaluation of first term paper by Natheem Hendricks: EXELLENT


Dear Oscar

Assignment 1 feedback

Thank you for completing this essay. You have focused on the topic and have succeeded in presenting a coherent analysis of theoretical perspectives on development which are evident in development and education policies in South Africa. Your comments on the context within which policies have emerged in South Africa demonstrate an understanding of the broad political and socio-economic pressures as well as some specific features of educational reform in South Africa, such as the need to transform institutional structure to benefit all within society.

Your overview of the theoretical perspectives underpinning the development agenda in South Africa was competently done. However, you could have presented some critiques of these perspectives.

Your acknowledges that the task of transformation South African society is not straight forward and suggests a mechanism/strategy, namely “third-culture” as a process involving ‘cultural negotiations’ to collectively seek societal solutions.

You suggest that by adopting a LLL approach and moving from education to learning active citizenship will be promoted (p.13). This argument requires problemitisation since LLL is not value free. Second, mass education as strategy of modernisation places the responsibility on the state to provide education for all. Conversely, focussing on learning as an individual responsibility with state responsibility almost completely absent suggests a neo-liberal agenda.

Your comments on how tensions and dilemmas in these policies can be overcome make persuasive points on the need to recognise the complexity of the challenges, to integrate initiatives in different policy areas and hold contradictory elements in some kind of equivalence.

All these discussions have been clearly formulated and substantiated well, with references to the literature. Overall, your essay demonstrates a creative engagement with the topic and receives a well-deserved “Excellent”.


Evaluation of Final Report by Natheem Hendricks: EXELLENT


Dear Oscar Vallazza,

Thanks for presenting an excellent and interesting assignment. I am not going to discuss the nature of your assignment however; I want to problematise some of your arguments.

First, on page 4 you suggests that the ‘learning region is a method of group education”. I want to take issue with this idea. The learning region from my perspective is a vision rather than a programme. In the case of the ‘Learning Cape’ the vision is still within its advocacy stage rather than at implantation stage.

There are also some conceptual considerations in discussing the idea of the learning region, is it a policy or is it an educational programme of implementation – perhaps neither in the case of the Learning Cape. Education is defined as a planned learning intervention; the question that needs to be considered is who is planning the learning intervention. My reading of the situation is that no centralized learning interventions are initiated. Rather there are expectations that individuals will coordinate and plan their own learning. But that happen all the time if learning is defined as the process of adaptation to ones environment.

From the above I argue that the idea of the Learning Cape is “truth received” from Europe and transplanted in the Cape.

You suggest that the participation in the learning region is a transformative project (p. 6) in that it draws on progressive constructivism. This idea can be challenged because learning programmes associated with the Learning Cape subscribed to different philosophical orientations including instrumentalist, behaviorist and critical.

These are the thoughts I want to leave with you.

November 24, 2009

Course: Understanding research

Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden, EU

Evaluation of first Term Paper by Fredrik Sandberg: EXELLENT


Fredrik Sandberg

Hi Oscar

It has been a pleasure having you on the course so far – your activity has been remarkable. It was fun reading your essay – besides some minor remarks it was excellent. (for instance I wonder if Aiken et.al actually uses grounded theory per se, even if they do have a reference to Glaser? However, they do talk about constant comparative analysis. In connection to their theoretical framwork, which is highly normative, I really dont think grounded theory would work. . .) .

Hope all is well and happy holidays.


Evaluation of Research Proposal by Fredrik Sandberg: VERY GOOD


Submitted 20 January 2010 01:20 by Oscar Vallazza

Research plan  Submitted

Assessed by Fredrik Sandberg

Assessment: Very good

Comments for Oscar Vallazza’s research proposal

I wanted to do a more thorough and critical reading of your text, because I think you need to explain a lot concepts more clearly as they emerge in your proposal (and in your forthcoming thesis). The comments can hopefully be used as you progress with your thesis. I still think your proposal is very good. I have read the proposal and commented on it as a process of reading the text– if there are unexplained concepts a long the way I have commented. It is important, as a reader, to be able to grasp concepts as they emerge in the text.

1. (p1)What do you mean by globalized world? ’Which people’ are you talking about? What is ’appropriate personal resources’? What phenomenon are you talking about? What is diaspora? Who are these ’most people’ that move into a stage of personal transformation? What are the other people doing?

2. (p1) When you talk about people in the summary: is it immigrants? Is it individuals which move to other countries to work? Is it individuals that have escaped from war, famine etc? You should adress that it concerns sojourners (visitor? But what kind of visitor?) and thoroughly explain this concept almost immediately in the text (you explain it later on, but you should address it much earlier). But you can work on this as your thesis progresses.

3. (p1) It has also been said by whom? Which people are “some of the people”? Which are the other people?

4. What is a cross-cultural context? Are there many kinds? If so what are the differences?

5. Take out the last sentence starting with “I believe” and put the section starting with “this study will examine”… first in the discussion/summary. I can see that you want your aim to come out of an argument, but it is much easier for the reader if you start by saying what it actually is you are going to do.

6. p.3 literature review: here are a lot of sentences that lack references in the beginning. Is it your thoughts or is it something that is based on research? There seem to be something important with Adler’s paper? You still have not explained sojourners: If it is this description, you could emphasise it more: “This study will focus on adults (transcultural long-term sojourners??) that willingly left their original home culture/country to embrace a broader cultural environment, and who are engaging in a dialectical learning process that includes intercultural “conversations” between them and the many factors and conditions both of their original and their elected new cultures”.

7. Literature review: As this work progresses, it is important that you in the end of the literature review summarise what is important to your paper and what it is you will use. For instance: in this thesis intercultural identity will be defined by using Vallazza’s (xxx) definition etc.

8. Aim p6. I guess you will narrow this down to the specific context as you’re work progress.

9. Your research questions are good. But as your work progresses these have to be narrowed down to the specific context of research (something I think you are aware of): What are the traits and processes of nurturing and maintaining such an identity at the dawn of the 21st century? In other words, what do people do to nurture and maintain their perceived multicultural identity across international barriers and within the context of their own personal lives? As an example: In this thesis these questions will be discussed in a specific context: How do individuals from China living in Germany, nurture and maintain their perceived multicultural identity within the context of their personal lives? Perhaps you will find different interviewees from different countries working in different countries – it is then important to address the context in each case.

10. Remember to look more closely (outside Bryman) on the connection between phenomenology and constructivism. Also, what kind of phenomenology are you interested in? It has to be defined, since phenomenology comes in different ‘shapes and colours’.

I enjoyed reading your proposal and I wish you good luck as your proposal now advances into a thesis.

Hope all is well


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