TLTC
Teaching and Learning With Technology Center

 
of the
Center for Teaching and Learning
Georgia State University
ITC
Instructional Technology Center
Library
GSU libraries
UETS
University Educational Technology Services
GSU Senate:
IS&T: Information Systems & Technology Committee
TLTS
IS&T Teaching and Learning with Technology Subcommittee
 
May 26, 2004
Helping students self assess their learning

It is helpful for students to be able to self assess their abilities for several reasons:

  1. If 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.
  2. Because 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.
  3. Because 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.

Providing 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 below.

Use of self assessment
Ways to implement
1 Ensure that students are ready to learn at the appointed time, e.g., before a class session begins

Make 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available during the time period students should be constructing specific knowledge and developing specific skills and withdrawn before the target learning experience begins.

Depending 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.

2 Stage comparisons of students' work

Require 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.

When they become aware of other students' work, students will often realize ways to improve their work and the diversity of ways to approach an assignment.

3 Prompt students to reflect on their learning

Ask students to prepare learning portfolios (examples: undergraduate course; 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.

Having 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.

4 Prompt students to reflect on their learning by blogging

Require 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.

Copyright © 2003 Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLTC), Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. All rights reserved.