As I read the chapter on assessment, I kept going back to the shift that occurs when we empower students with taking more ownership of assessing their learning as Bill describes in the section about digital portfolios. It reminded me of the reading I've been doing about Assessment AS Learning from Making Learning Personal. And is always the case, I end up with more questions.
What does it mean to "give students ownership of assessing their learning?"
In giving students more say in assessing their learning, the relationship between the teacher and student shifts to more of a partnership. The first step, gathering information, includes sharing formative assessments with students as well as collecting information from them as to what they see as their needs. There is so much information that can be gleaned from all the resources Franki mentions (anecdotal records, reading surveys, analysis of miscues and oral reading, artifacts of student work, analysis of comprehension, etc.) It occurs to me that I have an abundance of information about my students, but I'm not sure how much of that information they know and understand. I am the one making decisions for what they learn next and how they will learn it. I know that for my own learning, I am constantly reflecting and thinking about what's next for me. I can't help but think that sharing this information with students will help them become more invested in their learning and help them set goals that are meaningful for them.
How do I help students go through these steps?
Questions I might ask students to help them set goals, make a plan and reflect:
- What do you notice?
- What are you doing well?
- What is difficult for you?
- What would you like to improve?
- How do you think we might work on that goal?
- How will you show your learning?
- How will you check your progress?
- How will you know if you've mastered your goal?
It will be important that part of my conferring with students includes time for students to monitor their learning and reflect on what's next.
How do I support students in sharing their learning with a larger audience?
One of my goals this new school year is to set up digital portfolios for my students. Our district has adopted a new LMS, Canvas, which has the ability to house portfolios for students from grades K - 12. I'm also curious about using a wiki and plan on investigating some different spaces. I hope to incorporate student led conferences this year that are meaningful for students and help them move forward in their learning.
If we give students choice in these decisions, I believe that they will rise to the occasion. I think it's important in today's world that we give students the tools to assess their learning and help them set goals. As we prepare them for their future, we need to support them in being critical thinkers, problem solvers, and collaborators. Making this slight shift in thinking about assessment and supplying the space for students to reflect on their learning is one of the first steps I'll be taking this new school year.