Traditional models of assessing and grading students have long stood on the shoulders of teachers. Today’s educational landscape, however, trains students to evaluate their own progress to figure out what they need. Students need to learn the benefits of data driven self assessment to be able to thrive in further education and future careers. Recognizing what’s working and what’s not is the key to zoning in on areas that need extra attention and time.
For teachers, this creates the necessity of collecting student data. Grading to determine mastery of a skill or lesson is fine, but looking at every answer, correct or incorrect, to determine what the student needs to focus on is even better.
Empowering students to do this for themselves requires practice at collecting the data, analyzing it and using it to effectively reflect, document growth, and set personal goals. Here are ways students can take advantage of data driven self assessment:
- Students can use their classwork and homework as their data source. They can analyze the results for strengths and weaknesses, thereby discovering ways to improve future results.
- As students continue to regularly monitor and analyze their personal progress, they can track their overall progress, focusing on errors and reasons for those errors. They can efficiently figure out their own personal trends when it comes to errors and adjust to improve. They will also be aware of their current performance level and never be uncertain where they stand and what they need to accomplish to improve.
- Finally, students can take the data and use it to set goals for future assignments and tasks, as well as reflect on their progress over time. They can share progress and insights on their own work with other students during group reflection or with the teacher.
By learning how to collect, analyze and reflect on self assessment data, students become empowered to help themselves succeed. It erases the anxiety of not knowing how they’re doing at any given time in the grading period because they see the results and discover how to improve and reach their goals.