Thanks Ray, I am glad we agree.
As you and Tim Hunt say, commenting may not be appropriate to all scenarious and the ability to turn on/off commenting could be important.
Please ignore all the rest....
Aside: (Perhaps this is not the place for asides but,) I just have a bee in my bonnet about the percieved antagonism between behavioural and social constructive pedagogies. 'They both have their place,' 'there are scenarios in which each is appropriate,' might be a tactful, politic, harmonious line to take.
But, I am not even sure that I agree. I see them both as being good and not antagonistic. I am not sure of the scenario where one would want to do without quiz commenting. Even in an exam, even in a hard-nosed, up-tight, formal exam for, say, a national qualification, why not have a notice saying "should you have time, please leave comments on those questions that you feel are in need of improvement"?
The behaviourism / social constructivism debate seems to come up all the time in my educational life. We had a faculty development meeting at my institution where we were told that educational theories are argued to swing between behaviourism and social constructivism in an x year cycle, and that there is an ongoing debate about where the 'balance point' is.
The argument that there are scenarios where one or other pedagogy is appropriate, or that there is a balance point between the two, suggests a polarity, an antagonism between them. Is there really? I am trying to argue that there is no "balance," between behaviourism and social constructivism because they are orthogonal not polar, and both good .
There is experimental research, however, that shows that the more one uses 'behaviourism, exams and the lash', the more students are less inclined to be intrinsically motivated social constructivists. In other words, when there are extrinsic motivations (someone with a test and a whip), this leads to a diminishment of intrinsic motivation (the fun of learning).
On my way home this evening I had a thought that the antagonism between behaviourism and social constructivism only exists in the West. The research that shows that learners intrinsic motivation varies in inverse proportion to extrinsic motivation may be a Western foible.
For example, in the West it is shown that children are more inclined to be motivated when they choose a (thus intrinsically motivated) task than when they have the task chosen (thus extrinsically motivated) for them. However in in a famous experiment in Asia, it was found that children were more motivated by a task that was chosen by their mother. I don't think that this shows that Asian children want to be coerced, but rather that they enjoyed *choosing to do,* and being intrinsically motivated by, the task that also has extrinsic motivation. In other words, extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation are not seen as being polar.
Indeed, it is argued, that in Asia the self is not seen as being polar to the other, but partly (and only partly) dependent upon the other. I.e. that social constructivism when taken to its extreme, as it is perhaps in Asia (c.f. Markus and Kitayama, 1991), eradicates the aforementioned polarity, since the distinction betwen self and other is itself socially constructed.
Anyway, I think I would have commenting on all quizes, though the wording of the invitation to comment would change.