Nigel Coutts: Value the Process “beauty of unfinished work”

There is a danger in seeking finished perfection in all that we do.

There is a risk that our students will focus solely on the attributes that define  a finished piece and overlook the importance of the process that leads to it. With a shift in our mindset we might be able to celebrate this process and encourage our students to value the learning that occurs along the way.

Guernica by Pablo Picasso

Carol Dweck’s writing on Mindsets


Nigel Coutts, the author of this insightful article, quotes Picasso, ”  ‘Woe to you the day it is said that you are finished! To finish a work? To finish a picture? What nonsense! To finish it means to be through with it, to kill it, to rid it of its soul – to give it its final blow…” 

This aligns with my feeling about summative evaluation… aka grades.  If you want to terminate the process, grade the product. 

My students create an e-portfolio as they complete classes in our program. Will ‘grading’ an e-portfolio halt the process?  I certainly hope not. Instead, I strive to help them see the evaluation process as feedback to prompt an ongoing process that continues throughout the E-Learning Certificate Program and beyond. 


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