ASSESSMENT AS LEARNING
I have been reading and listening to a lot about Assessment - Assessing to learn, Assessing for learning. Yet I am still concerned that these do not fulfill my belief in “Assessment AS Learning”. Assessment it seems is viewed as a teacher task or teacher imposed activity. How does this encourage:
- personalised learning?
- intrinsic motivation in the process?
- our students to become life long learners?
Personalised learning encourages a shift from students as passive recipients to individuals who engage in an active two (or more) way process. Central to P.L . is assessment. If we aim to involve students in the process of learning then it is only natural to include them in assessment processes.
This is one reason why I like Rubrics so much. In a well designed rubric, the assessment process becomes transparent. Students see what is required and measure themselves within it. The next steps are visible. Encouraging their use in self and peer assessment allows all involved to use the process and points to where they need to go next. As students become more familiar with the role of a rubric, their involvement in the making of the rubric, and the assessment criteria becomes even more powerful.
People no matter what age, change themselves more powerfully than having others impose their ideas and expectations. As a parent I could never see the reason why a teacher and parent met to discuss the child’s learning without the child being an active participant in this conversation. Is their involvement not valued? Is it the parent and teachers role to manipulate the learner, accept the accolades on their behalf etc.?
I do not simply want to “train” children, to have them jump through hoops and measure them without their understanding the value and process involved. More powerful than this is to have students able to direct their own learning, to know what they are being assessed on and to have them involved in this process.
It is the process of assessment that is important. If we can equip our children with a clear process coupled with clear understood expectations, their independence in learning, their intrinsic motivation in learning and their development as life long learning is enhanced. Students can develop a scaffold which they can use and transfer to other situations.