Chapter Seven: Making Classroom Assessment Work

Summary: Involving students in their assessment improves their academic success. Teachers can incorporate these forms of assessment into lessons such as classroom behaviour, research projects and science experiments. These co-operative assessments help the student become an active part of their learning; in addition, it assists the teacher in learning areas which need improvement.

Personal Connections: Involving students in self-assessment is so important to me. Before university I never experienced self-assessment or classroom created criteria. At first I wasn’t sure if it was a waste of time for both student and teacher, and if it would be effective in our learning progress. However, I quickly realized the impact of self-assessment in my Education classes.

After being introduced to the concept, we were provided many different readings on the matter which further explored the vast benefits of self-assessment. What self-assessment and collaborative classroom assessment does for me is make me responsible for my learning. It is easy to take a backseat in the classroom and be a passive learner. You can let your mind wander and count down the clock until home time. You don’t have to take risks, or think too hard. As a student I have been guilty of being this student numerous times.

Although I know this is very common for high school students, it hinders our learning potential, including mine. We need to find the motivation in our students to push them to excellence. If teachers do not ask more of their students, then they will remain in this passive learning state. One way of eliminating this from the classroom is by using self-assessment and collaborative classroom assessment. These strategies hold the student accountable for their own progress and success. When I am filling out a self-assessment as student, suddenly I’m aware of all the ways I need to improve. It is then that I make the decision for myself to work hard and improve these areas. This chapter really highlights the potential uses of these strategies. Teachers can use self-assessment in individual lessons as part of the learning.

Another way for students to self-assess and become accountable for their own learning is by having the students complete learner contracts. I found a great article on readwritethink.org. The article is called Promoting Student Self-Assessment by Phil Wilder. This strategy guide includes different useful strategies for teachers to use as student centered assessment. The learner contract outlines the purpose as well as the benefits. A learner’s contract is a long term agreement that the student makes with the teacher in order to improve on certain areas. This self-assessment holds the student accountable and provides goals for the students to achieve. Self-assessment is an integral part of student learning, and the more knowledgeable teachers become about the subject, the more we can take advantage of its numerous benefits.

Resources: Wilder, Phil. Promoting Student Self-Assessment. National Council of Teachers of English, 2014. (http://www.readwritethink.org/professional-development/strategy-guides/promoting-student-self-assessment-30102.html)

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