Join Kevin Kelly for an in-depth discussion in this video Facilitating student self-assessments, part of Teaching with Technology.
- How often as teachers do we give students opportunities to evaluate their own progress? Sure they can look at their scores on tests and projects, but if we want our students to become better learners and lifelong learners then we need to give them practice and self-assessment. We can promote awareness with quizzes and questionnaires, foster self-assessment with intelligent tutors, and integrate reflection and planning activities. Quizzes and questionnaires are easy ways to help students become aware of what they know or don't know. With a quick internet search, you can find online questionnaires to help students become aware of their mindset, their study habits, their readiness to take an online course, and more.
If you assign students to take one of these questionnaires, ask them to save or print the results to use as a baseline. You might also ask them to reflect on how they feel about the results and to create a plan based on what they want to improve. It's one thing to be aware and another to be prepared to use that awareness to improve. If your institution has a learning management system, you can use the quiz module to create your own self-assessment instruments. In the feedback for individual questions you don't have to give the answers. You can direct students to the information they need to get them right, but make sure you at least allow students to see which answers were right and wrong.
It's never to early to start students with the practice of self-assessment. If you teach elementary school and the students don't go online very much, then you can download or create your own questionnaire as a rubrics. Instead of a likert scale with numbers, you could use a frowning face for never, a straight face for sometimes, and a smiling face for always. Intelligent tutor software takes the process a step further. As students assess themselves, the system learns what they know and don't know and direct each student to information that will bridge the gaps.
More than just quizzes, intelligent tutors provide activities that require more robust answers than multiple choice. For example, students may have to outline the steps they took to solve a math problem. So the system knows when and where to offer guidance. Intelligent tutor software exists for students at multiple levels. Mathtutor covers math for elementary students. ALEKS covers multiple disciplines in higher education and monitors progress toward mastery of common core and state standards for K-12. In some circles, the Khan Academy is compared to intelligent tutoring systems since students check their progress at regular intervals as they go through the content.
As I hinted just a minute ago, asking students to reflect on the results and create a plan are part of the learning improvement process. You can ask students to create journal, ePortfolio, or blog entries to capture the reflections as the progress over an academic term. One of the keys to making reflection effective is providing effective prompts. Universal Design for Learning principles encourage teachers to support student self-assessment as a way to give them multiple pathways to remain engaged in the learning process. No matter which of the strategies you select, it will be important for you to explain, model, and scaffold the process.
Before reviewing the next movie, take a minute to answer the following questions for yourself. For what knowledge, skills, or attitudes will you promote student self-awareness? What tools will you use to help students assess themselves? And how will you integrate reflection as part of the self-assessment process?
Author Kevin Kelly explains how learning outcomes can be adapted to support technology in the classroom, and guides educators through selecting the appropriate technology for their activity, module, or class. Then he shows how to apply technology in three key areas: finding, creating, and sharing content with students; facilitating classroom activities; and assessing learning inside the classroom or online.
- Including technology in your learning outcomes
- Applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles
- Finding and creating content and instructional materials
- Enhancing lectures and presentations with technology
- Getting students involved
- Facilitating in-class activities
- Assessing learning
- Teaching effectively online