May 26, 2004
Helping students self assess
is helpful for students to be able to self assess their abilities
for several reasons:
they are unaware of the level of specific competencies that
are expected of them, students will have no way to become aware
of any gaps between their current competency levels and those
required to complete a course.
many competencies take time to develop, students may run out of
time for competency building if their first assessment occurs
with an exam or other graded work.
they are prone to think that a little bit of effort is sufficient,
students may believe they have mastered specific competencies
when, in reality, large gaps remain.
affordances for students to self assess their abilities creates
the potential for students to become much more aware of their actual
performance levels soon enough for them to work toward achieving
the needed competencies. Some uses of student self assessment appear
Use of self assessment
Ways to implement
that students are ready to learn at the appointed time, e.g.,
before a class session begins
questions available on the Web, e.g., as a quiz in WebCT, whose
answers require mastery of the concepts, underpinning, procedures,
etc. that will be assumed in the next class session or learning
experience. To encourage timely student learning, a quiz can be
available during the time period students should be constructing
specific knowledge and developing specific skills and withdrawn
before the target learning experience begins.
on the learning objectives and the scope and size of the database
of questions, students might be permitted to take a quiz once, several
times, or many times.
comparisons of students' work
students to publish their work, e.g., drafts, progress reports,
papers, and projects, to the Web where all students have access
to it. The Web space where students publish their work could be
group presentation folders in WebCT, Web sites established for that
purpose, or students' personal Web sites. In any case, it is helpful
to establish a naming convention for students' files, create an
index page that makes all student work readily accessible, and provide
directions (sample) for student publishing.
they become aware of other students' work, students will often realize
ways to improve their work and the diversity of ways to approach
students to reflect on their learning
students to prepare learning portfolios (examples: undergraduate
graduate course), individually or in groups, and publish
them on the Web. The Web space could be group presentation folders
in WebCT, Web sites established for that purpose, or students'
personal Web sites. To organize student-published work, it is
helpful to establish a naming convention for students' files,
create an index page that makes all student work readily accessible,
and provide directions (sample) for student publishing.
students to reflect on what they have learned has the potential
to prompt them to recognize their learning advances and lapses and
to assume more responsibility for their own learning.
students to reflect on their learning by blogging
students to prepare and publish weblogs (blogs), continuing commentary on the
world we inhabit (or would like to inhabit). The system that enables
bloggers is available at http://www.blogger.com/. There is no fee for
a blogspot there. Reading other people's blogs is a way to see what
others are reading and writing; creating one's own blog is a way
to join the conversation.