Assessment is the fourth stage of the teacher training cycle taught in our Assessor courses. It is an essential stage where students are assessed at various stages of the learning journey and receive feedback on their progress. Self-assessment is a highly effective assessment method, used to keep track of a student's performance and how they feel they are performing and learning. Establishing their own evaluation increases student responsibility, thereby helping them to strive for a deeper approach towards learning, understanding the subject matter better along with various skills involved in the course. The lead assessor course specifically qualifies you to assess any type of classroom or work-based assessment. This course will enable you to become a qualified lead assessor in your own specialist area.
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 revisions accordingly. Self-assessment can take many forms, for example, SWOT analysis or students can be given the marking scheme and asked to correct their own work.
Self-assessment practices encourage students to take ownership of their learning, promote responsibility, and independence, and may also motivate further learning. It is a form of a mindset shift that focuses on the quality of learning, student responsibility, and making judgments as a necessary skill to inculcate an attitude of problem-solving and lifelong learning. The lead assessor course ensures that learners go through a rigorous self-reflection process that allows them to improve their professional skills and work practice.
How can self-assessment 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 on 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.
Positive statements: this helpful technique is useful for learners to look into their practices, knowledge, and abilities and write about their strengths, commitments, and motivation in a convincing way. For instance, ‘I am committed and tend to submit my work before the deadline’.
Negative statements: this is another way to highlight the positive aspects of oneself. In this, the learners can write about their positive aspects that bring out negative aspects. For instance, ‘I am a perfectionist, I tend to become controlling during group projects and do most of the work myself because I don’t trust the work submitted by others. I believe I should let others take charge and use the resources I have more efficiently’.
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 for 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 improvement. This process of exposing your strengths and weaknesses isn’t easy, it moves you towards self-development and awareness.
Self-awareness: you take a more active part in shaping your personality, skills, and competence by taking an objective look at how you learn and 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. Self-consciousness or personal complexes about our own abilities may colour the self-assessment exercise and therefore an assessor should facilitate the process to ensure the end result is reflective of the reality (ideally against set criteria) and is an accurate measure of progress.
No accountability: the assessment may begin with you and end at your evaluation leading some to get stuck with finding a way out or how to improve. In a few cases, externalities might influence you to stay determined towards the change. Again, it is the assessor’s responsibility to ensure the assessment stays focused, valid and reliable. These are basic principles of assessment taught in our Assessor course.
The Role of Self Assessment
The assessor courses help learners in discovering their ability to assess individuals on their work. A lead assessor can assess NVQ, QCF, RQF courses, and apprentices in their area of specialism. Self-assessment is significantly important in the assessor training as you need to look out for your own areas of improvement then only you can assess others on the basis of their work practice.
Self-assessments are an effective way to engage your students in a combined learning effort to actively alter the experience of learning and self-improvement. 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 help in providing better academic results. Many assessors encourage such activities and involve students in collaborative learning to effectively manage the classroom and student motivation. It is important to look into oneself and understand our own strengths and weaknesses to work on them more effectively.