Student Involvement in Assessment

Today I am reading this: https://www.k12albemarle.org/acps/division/fql/Pages/Assessment-Analysis-Communication-and-Feedback.aspx

It states, “Student involvement in assessment is key to unlocking the potential of assessment as a learning tool.”

The information on the page was very useful to help me think about my assessment practices in school. I use rubrics frequently in home economics lessons to assess student work, such as projects and practicals. I craft the rubrics, never the students.

My thoughts are :

  1. I like the process outlined on the page about getting students to craft rubrics, but my challenge will be to find the in-class time to do this. I see my students every other week for a total of about twelve 1hr 20 min lessons over the year. Finding time will be tough!
  2. OMG, I really need to rethink some of my rubrics and probably reduce some of the learning targets!
  3. Why do I use a range of marks for bands? Why don’t I just use single marks for bands?
  4. For a practical session, there should be a rubric for each product so students can determine mastery. Also how can I give them models without wasting food?

I’ve summarised that page below for my own internalisation. I suggest reading the actual site yourself because it is more detailed.

Questions I am supposed to ask myself are:

  1. How do I assure that assessments will be useful measurements of learning?
  • Begin with learning aspects which are specific and written in accessible language
  • Limit the number of learning targets (usually 3 to 4) so that learners are not overwhelmed and have ample time to master essential content and skills

2. How do I encourage students to assess their work?

  • Use well written rubrics
    • Focuses only on a few learning targets
    • Contains student friendly language
    • Provides descriptive detail that defines various levels of success
    • Descriptions of quality are more useful than quantity

A process for teaching students how to self-assess / evaluate work using a rubric.

  1. Start by getting students to assess model or anchor papers. (Even if you just do this, it will be good learning for the students)
  2. Look at extreme samples (one which is very good and one which is really bad), get students to identify strengths and weaknesses and craft the rubric from student suggestions. (Ask them, what does success look like?)
  3. Practice the strategies to improve the work together
  4. Analyse mid-range pieces of work
  5. Focus on one learning target at a time so students can isolate the intended learning
  6. Get students to work in pairs to score and improve anonymous student work
  7. Students then score and improve their own work

3. How do I develop relationships with students that promote student involved assessment?

Be:

  • present
  • open
  • listening without judgment
  • Seek common understandings
  • View learning as mutual

I should seek to inspire students through my own passion for ongoing growth and show learners why they should be committed to their own development.

Continually ask myself, “What grading practices motivate students to continually strive for mastery and excellence?”

4. How do I set up situations so that students are more involved in determining the course of their learning?

  • Systematically engage them in shared goal setting.
  • In order to set goals and monitor their own progress, they must clearly understand what learning is essential.
  • Students who are involved in setting goals and have a clear understanding of their mission, they have a sense of ownership, self-awareness, and control of their own development over time. The inclusive process makes students intrinsically motivated.
  • Questions to ask students
    • “What are your strengths and weakness in the discipline at hand?”
    • “What do you see as the greatest challenge for you as you move towards mastery in this area?”
    • “How will this goal inform your next steps as a learner?” 

5. What are some ways that students can use their communication skills to empower themselves in their learning?

  • Portfolios
  • Student-planned and lead conferences with teachers and parents. Students should select the work they wish to discuss, identify strengths and weaknesses and share their learning goals

Framework provided on that website and attributed to Stiggins, 2004:

  • Learning target/s
  • Evidence of where I started
  • Evidence of where I am now
  • What I did to improve
  • What I can do now that I couldn’t do before
  • What to notice about my work
  • Date of conference
  • Start and end time of conference
  • Participant(s)
  • Comments of participant(s)