If you’ve been following the Radical at all, you know that Dean Shareski has gotten me thinking about the role that self-assessment should play in my classroom.
After having my students work through a few opportunities to assess their own learning, I asked them to assess self-assessment as an instructional practice.
Specifically, I told them I was interested in (1). their perspective on the fact that self-assessments aren’t graded and (2). their perspective on having the chance to reflect on their own learning.
One of my favorite responses came from Anna Beth, who wrote:
Self assessment really helped me to find what my written work was missing. The questions you asked got me to realize that my work was not as good as I thought it was.
After looking at my work carefully, I came to the conclusion that my thoughts were not explained clearly enough for someone else to be interested in my work.
I find that I do better on most assignments that aren’t graded versus knowing that they will be graded. I think that this is because the pressure of a grade is taken away. Therefore, I am assured that if I don’t do well, my grade won’t be effected.
When that pressure is taken away, I focus better on what I’m doing and I tend to do better. This is where my Ravenclaw side is shown because I want to do well, but I can be so focused on wanting to do well that I can get distracted from actually learning.
That’s an interesting take, isn’t it? I especially liked the last line: I can be so focused on wanting to do well that I can get distracted from actually learning.
I wonder if that holds true for other students too? Have we gotten to a point in our high stakes world that grades have replaced learning completely?
Is that something we can fix or is grading too far gone to actually fix?