Self-Assessment … it’s a (long) process.
We all know the importance of Assessment AS learning ….
This is when students (and adults, for that matter) reflect, and self-assess their learning that real long-term learning and growth can occur.
When the students in my Health and Career Education classes completed their end of the term self-assessment this past week, most were engaged and interested in the process. They took this assessment opportunity very seriously put effort into their responses. A few students, however, found this self-assessment difficult. One Grade 6 student wrote,
“I don’t like grading myself. I feel more comfortable being graded by someone else, like you, Mrs. Henriksen. You would be better at grading me because you have more experience with grading.”
Part of my response to this students was that no one really knew her learning this term better than she did.
Another student got upset about completing the self-assessment and refused to conference with me about his learning this term (even though I made it very non-threatening and open-ended). Initially, he wrote,
“I think I deserve an F!”
I let him know that that was not going to happen and that he did NOT, in fact, deserve an F. He’d done a lot of learning this term. That didn’t seem to make a difference in his thoughts though. I will try to conference with him again this week sometime.
I find it disturbing that grades are done TO our students and not WITH our students. It’s sad that some students feel so uncomfortable about reflecting upon their own learning and sharing this information with others.
This has, of course, left me with more questions than answers.
Why do some students have such difficulty reflecting on their learning? Why is it so foreign to them?
What do I do to make this a more comfortable process? (Not doing the self-assessment is not an option.)
How long does it take for people to become more comfortable with self-assessment?
How much self-assessment are these students involved with in their other subjects?
Will the final term be any easier for them to self-assess their learning?