In a recent post, Self Assessment: Empowering Students in their own learning Ted Wilson of Bali Island school discusses the importance and benefits of students self assessing their work. He was very kind to link to me. In the event anyone does click on the link on that site, here are my thoughts and practices on assessment.
First off, as part of our assessment practices at our school, we state that all summative assessments must be self-assessed by the student. How teachers do this is relatively up to them, but on all of our rubrics we have a student assessed total and a teacher assessed total. Prior to handing in the rubric, the teacher could simply ask the student to provide a level they believe they have achieved. If the task is clear enough and the task-specific clarifications are clear enough, students should be reasonably accurate. As Ted stated in his article my expectation is that by the end of the year, students should be accurate in their self-assessment.
In cooperation with our former head of mathematics here, Dustin Norton, we came up with the best way at least for our students to self-assess. First is, they put the number of the level they believe they earned. Afterwards, I take it in. I assess it, annotate the document, add comments, add corrections etc. Then I give it back to them without a level achievement. Often when students see the corrections they are able to determine the level awarded.
The key here is, by having students self-assess they clue into the MYP level descriptors, but they also are attuned to looking at the task-specific clarifications. They may not be realistic due to a variety of factors. However, now that they have the task back with my corrections and annotations, they must read them, process them and internalize them to then determine a realistic level. This is what we are hoping for when we assess. We hope that the students take our feedback on board, use the feedback to improve upon their work and grow from the experience. This to me is the best of both worlds. Self-assessment, along with feedback and using the feedback to make an informed decision on the final achievement level.