A Guide for the Perplexed
Edited By Judith McVarish and Catherine Milne
Chapter 7 Letting Go: A Personal Perspective of Using Self-Assessment and Self-Evaluation (Jason Blonstein)
Teachers today are experimenting with alternatives to traditional tests. Performance assessment, portfolio collections, classroom observation, peer assessment, and self-evaluation are joining the unit test and the final exam in the repertoire of the skillful teacher. Self-evaluation is defined as students judging the quality of their work, based on evidence and explicit criteria, for the purpose of doing better work in the future (see Chapter 1 for more). When we teach stu- dents how to assess their own progress, and when they do so against known and challenging quality standards, we find that there is a lot to gain. Self-evaluation is a potentially powerful technique because of its impact on student performance through enhanced self-efficacy and increased intrinsic motivation. Evidence about the positive effect of self-evaluation on student performance is particularly convincing for difficult tasks (Maehr & Stallings, 1972; Arter et al., 1994), especially in academically oriented schools (Hughes et al., 1985) and among high need pupils (Henry, 1994). Perhaps just as important, students like to evaluate their work. In this chapter, I use narrative to explore my per- sonal perspective and experience of self-assessment and self-evaluation. Chapter 7 Letting Go A Personal Perspective of Using Self-Assessment and Self-Evaluation Jason Blonstein b_text_T4.qxd 1/15/2014 8:36 AM Page 97 Self-Assessment and Evaluation I am going through the cards now, the index cards we use weekly for self- assessment, and at midterm and endterm for evaluation, in the sev- enth week of a Methods class of 22 students. I learned our students’...
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