Thursday, December 12, 2013

Learner Self-Assessing through Formative Assessment Strategies

Self-assessment by pupils, far from being a luxury, is in fact an essential component of formative assessment.
-Black & Wiliam, 1998 

Today we welcome guest Bloggers Jodie Deinhammer (Coppell HS Teacher of the Year) and Missy Schliep (Coppell Middle School West Teacher of the Year.)

Jodie writes, "I feel that it is important for learners be given time to reflect and have the opportunity to re-evaluate.  The best learning occurs when mistakes are made.  If we allow learners to feel comfortable making mistakes without receiving a bad grade, they are more likely to take risks and learn at a deeper level.  For example, when learners are creating a project for publication, I meet with each team and give verbal feedback and conduct a Q&A with just that team.  I offer suggestions on how to improve, alter, change, etc.  They are comfortable asking questions in a small group setting and bounce ideas off of me and other group members. "

"Once they submit their work to me for evaluation, I grade the project without assigning an actual grade to it, only providing feedback and suggestions.  The learners then have more time to make adjustments or changes to their work before the final submission date.  While resubmitting is completely optional, almost every group takes advantage of improving their work.  Throughout the entire project, learners are checking for understanding during our team meetings and small group interactions.  We are also planning to incorporate an anonymous peer review to our next project, so learners can have a better understanding of that process and gain feedback from their peers, as well as me."

Missy adds, "You do need a safe environment. No way will you get your learners to own up to not knowing something if they feel they will be ridiculed. I do like getting my learners involved in their learning. I want to know what they want to know, what misconceptions they might have on the topic we are going to study. I also like having my learners reflect on what they learned. It is important for learners to verbalize their learning, in writing. (See what I did there? Two birds and all. They have to write and express their learning!) Get learners to focus on the learning and not the grade. Because the learning is what’s important.

How are you including learners in YOUR ‘Assessment Process’?

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