Assessment is the fourth stage of the lifelong teacher training cycle. It is an essential stage that gives feedback to the student and the teacher on the progress of learning. Group work and constructive learning take place when students develop a better understanding of their own subjectivity and judgement. Self-assessment is used to keep track on student’s performance. Establishing their own assessment criteria increases student responsibility, thereby helping them to strive for a deeper approach towards learning, understanding the subject matter and various skills involved in the process.
What is Self-Assessment?
Self-assessment is an assessment tool used by students to evaluate the quality of their work, measure their performance with the stated goals and learning objectives, identify the strengths and weaknesses in their work and implement revision accordingly. Self-assessment practices encourage students to take ownership of their learning, promote responsibility, independence, and may also motivate further learning. It is a form of a cultural shift that focuses on the quality of learning, student responsibility and making judgements as a necessary skill to prepare students for problem-solving and lifelong learning.
How can it be practiced in classrooms?
Increasing student participation is the basics of self-assessment. Through self-assessments students can identify their own skill gaps, where they lack knowledge, develop realistic goals and focus attention in learning. Some useful examples of self-assessment are:
I can statements: this is a useful practice carried out by teachers at the end of either every class or by the time a specific unit comes to an end. Students list down various I can statements to explain what they are capable of doing as a result of the lesson taught to them by their instructor.
Other examples are portfolio reviews, reflections and recording oneself.
Self-assessment can address specific skills in students, it helps teachers to evaluate the potential of all students towards learning. Some advantages of self-assessment may be;
Personal growth: it is a result of the activities and areas of your life, whether personal relationships or communication skills. It arises from the need to evaluate yourself and identify your positive and negative areas.
Exposure: self-assessment helps students to identify their areas of self-improvement. This process of exposing your strengths and weaknesses isn’t easy, it moves you towards self-development.
Self-awareness: you take a more active part in shaping your personality, objective look towards how you behave and react to situations.
At one point self-assessment proves to be very beneficial for students and teachers but it might address some negativity too;
Subjectivity: it takes a very subjective look at your personality, the things you do, life experiences, etc. a subjective rating isn’t enough to assess someone or a personality type.
No accountability: the assessment begins with you and ends at your evaluation. It doesn’t shape a path to change oneself, but in a few cases, externalities might influence you to stay determined towards the change.
Self-assessments are just another way to engage your audience in a combined learning effort to actively alter the perception of the classroom environment. For instance, students can be given a task to self-assess their class participation in an academic year. This may be backed by a grade reward or percentage reward for the final year’s performance.
Self-assessments have proven to provide better academic results. Many teachers encourage such activities and involve students in collaborative learning to effectively manage classroom content and management. However, parts of these assessments follow self-analysis, identification of strengths and weaknesses with proper remedial action by teachers to help students at all levels. It is helpful to introduce assessment practices as a part of the curriculum in the introductory classes to prepare students before applying a new strategy.