Helping students to reflect on their learning

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Helping students to reflect on their learning. Learning intentions. To understand the role of peer-assessment, self-assessment and self-evaluation in helping students to reflect on their learning To consider some strategies for use in the classroom. Why promote student reflection?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • PMB 2007

  • Learning intentions

    To understand the role of peer-assessment, self-assessment and self-evaluation in helping students to reflect on their learning

    To consider some strategies for use in the classroom

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  • Ian Smith (2004)When there is one teacher and thirty students and all the feedback comes from or through the teacher, there is no hope of providing sufficient good quality feedback.Why promote student reflection?

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  • Why promote student reflection?

    Encourages independent learning- (active | empowered | self-reliant)Increases student self-esteem Develops the capacity to recognise qualityImproves student understanding

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  • Why promote student reflection?

    Feedback is in language that the students useStrengthens the student voice in the classroomCan produce valuable feedback

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  • The difference between assessment and evaluation

    Assessment describes activities that enable learners to reflect on WHAT has beenlearnt and judge it against features of quality

    Evaluationdescribes the process learners use to gain an understanding of HOWthey are learning its about understanding themselves as learners

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  • The difference between correction and assessment

    Engaging in peer- and self-assessment is much more than checking forerrors or weaknesses. It involves making explicit what is normally implicitand thus requires the student to be more active in their learning. Thestudents become more aware of when they are learning and whenthey are not.- Black & Wiliam: Working Inside the Black Box

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  • Preparing students

    Share learning intentions and features of quality

    Model the assessment and feedback processes- Try group assessment activities- Use the feedback process to demonstrate how-to- Use effective questioning

    Build the right climate- Encourage openness about learning- Set expectations for group work.

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  • FirstFind 2 successes withref to the features of qualitySecondFind the part of the work whichprovides most scope for a jump(not simply the worst part).ThirdWrite a short prompt telling thelearner exactly what to do to thispart of their work.The Gray DayThe day hung over us like a wet blanket.The cars shot past on the motorway like marbles thrown across a floor.The leaves hung from the trees like soggy bits of toast.The leaves shone red and gold like a burning fire.The wet ground looked like a slippery, black ice rink.The clouds overhead hung very low.The rain tapped the window like a quiet drum.

    Learning Intention:To use similes to create atmosphereFeatures of quality: Compare each object to something else likelike a a as thoughCan you think of a simile to describe the way the clouds were hanging or moving?

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  • The Gray DayThe day hung over us like a wet blanket.The cars shot past on the motorway like marbles thrown across a floor.The leaves hung from the trees like soggy bits of toast.The leaves shone red and gold like a burning fire.The wet ground looked like a slippery, black ice rink.The clouds overhead hung very low.The rain tapped the window like a quiet drum.

    Can you think of a simile to describe the way the clouds were hanging or moving?Fourthprovide time to read, process and respond.

    The clouds moved overhead like the ferry crossing the sea.Learning Intention:To use similes to create atmosphereFeatures of quality: Compare each object to something else likelike a a as though

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  • 2 stars and a wishWhat I think about my workMy teacher thinks

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  • Other Ideas

    Traffic LightsThumbs UpScale 1 5Graphic organisers

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  • Self-evaluationSelf-Evaluationstudents reflect about how they have learntSelf-Assessmentstudents use features of quality to assess their own work prior to the teacher marking itSelf-Evaluationstudents use self-evaluation questions to prompt reflection during short plenary sessionsEarly opportunities for developmentSelf-Assessmentstudents reflect about what they have learnt

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  • Possible prompts for self-evaluation

    The most important thing I learned wasThe way I learned wasWhat I found difficult wasWhat I enjoyed most wasWhat I want to find out more about isWhat I need more help with isWhat still puzzles me is

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  • Possible prompts for self-evaluation

    What surprised me wasWhat I have learned that is new isWhat helped me when something got tricky wasWhat really made me think wasI might have learned better ifWhat I would change about this activity to help another class learn is

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  • Self-evaluation prompts

    What did you find easy about learning to ?

    What do you need more help with?

    What can you do now that you couldnt do before?

    What really made you think?

    What are you most pleased with?

    The most important thing you learned was

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  • Suggested strategies to help make it work

    Make it routineGive learners the information they needKeep it variedBuild it inFocus on strengthsMake it lead somewhere Explain it to parents

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    PMB 2007Helping students to reflect on their learning.

    This workshop explores how developing student reflection through peer- and self-assessment and self-evaluation promotes independent learning, communication and support in the classroom.

    These are central approaches to assessment, as they allow students to take more responsibility for their own learning and progress. PMB 2007 PMB 2007These are the learning intentions for this workshop. PMB 2007 PMB 2007To begin, please take a look at the quotation from Ian Smith.

    As teachers, we cannot provide quality feedback to the whole class at any one time there just isnt the time. Weve all experienced this feedback bottleneck the snaking queue at our desk. For this reason alone, it makes sense to involve students in the assessment and evaluation of their own and others work.

    The aim is to involve students as much as possible in the analysis and constructive criticism of their work. Its not all up to us its about sharing responsibility.

    Student reflection engages students in taking more responsibility for their own learning improvements and can also help to inform your teaching. You can think of it in terms of what you have already heard about formative feedback and marking, as they are very closely linked. PMB 2007 PMB 2007While shifting more responsibility to the students does help to take the pressure off you, peer- and self-assessment are not replacements for teacher marking and feedback. They are important additional forms of assessment that are essential for developing independent learners.

    When students assess their own work, they take a more active role in the learning process. They are empowered to take more responsibility for their own learning and become more independent and self-reliant, meaning they dont always need you (or a parent) to help them.

    This enables students to be more focused and motivated in their work, improving their self-esteem and also creating a positive learning culture.

    Another significant benefit of using peer- and self-assessment and self-evaluation is their influence on students self-esteem. When we give students the skills to look at their own and others work critically and constructively, they develop a nose for quality, they begin to understand the features of quality in a piece of work. They see areas they can development themselves by recognising them in the work of others. For example, a student who advises another, If you had written it neater, I would have been able to read it more easily, will reflect on his own presentation.

    This analysis of their own and others work can help them to deepen their understanding of the subject at hand, but it also provides them with skills they can use throughout life in a host of other contexts. For this reason, peer- and self-assessment and self-evaluation also support the development of Key Skills of Junior Cycle - Managing myself, Communicating, Working with others, and Managing information and thinking. PMB 2007 PMB 2007In terms of peer-assessment, the exchanges between students are in their own language, which can enhance their understanding of their works strengths and drawbacks. Also, students will often accept from one another criticisms of their work that they would find more difficult to accept if made by their teacher.

    Peer-assessment can also strengthen the student voice in your class. Feedback from a group to a teacher can command more attention than that of an individual student. Peer-assessment can help improve communication between you and your students about their learning.

    And finally, through their partner and group work, students are able to provide each other with valuable feedback. Often, when this process is working well, the feedback is more helpful than that given by the teacher, as it enables them to learn from and support each other. The opportunity to discuss, explain and challenge each other enables them to achieve more than they can unaided.

    PMB 2007 PMB 2007Both assessment and evaluation are important, but we must recognise the differences between them. They are not synonymous. They focus on different aspects of learning and the skills for both need to be modelled, developed and supported. They dont just happen.

    Assessment describes WHAT has been learned. Assessment looks at the subject, topic, or information gained.

    Evaluation describes the process of HOW they are learning. Evaluation looks at students as learners and enables them to discuss the process that they engaged in.

    Features of quality can be used to guide both aspects. We will go into more detailed explanation of self-evaluation and the process involved toward the end of this workshop. PMB 2007 PMB 2007It is also important to remember, and to make clear to students, that assessment is about more than correction.

    This quotation from Black and Wiliam supports this. Peer- and self-assessment are about more than checking for spelling mistakes, etc. They are about:

    getting students actively involved in the workproviding them with information about what they need to learn and how they will know if they have been successfulhelping them to advise each other on how to improve, not just what they got right.

    In this context, when students want to know what success will look like, they can refer back to the features of quality that they will have discussed with you in advance of the lesson. PMB 2007 PMB 2007For peer- and self-assessment/evaluation to be effective, students must firstly know what it is they are going to be making judgements on. This brings us back to the cornerstone of sharing learning intentions and features of quality. We need to make learning intentions and features of quality clear so that students develop an understanding of what counts as quality.

    Until students become proficient in the process of assessing against these, you will need to model the process. This provides the experience that students need in order to judge their own learning and begin to take action to improve. The student is really your apprentice. Your students will also need practice at peer-assessment before they can build confidence in assessing their own work. One way to develop assessment skills is to have your class, or groups within it, discuss a piece of work (from a different year group or in a plenary session). Together, highlight the works strengths, identify areas for improvement, and suggest/agree ways in which the piece could be improved.You can also model the assessment process as you give feedback to students, especially when it becomes the basis for dialogue between you and the student. This includes tying feedback to the features of quality, providing prompts for improvement and allowing students time to revisit their work and close the gap. Using effective questioning can also help students consider the requirements of their piece of work and remind them to refer back regularly to the learning intentions and features of quality.

    And finally, its important that we build the right climate.This includes cultivating an openness about learning. Students regularly need to discuss their learning openly, share their understanding and see that mistakes are a necessary part of improvement. In a classroom with an ethos of mutual respect and one where both students and the teacher talk about learning, students can openly give constructive feedback to one another. Formative feedback and effective questioning can help you to create a classroom climate where this openness is the norm.Building the right climate also requires us to set expectations about group work. We need to give students guidance on what behaviours we expect them to display in group or partner situations. This could include listening to others and taking turns, for example.

    PMB 2007 PMB 2007This slide shows an example of how the assessment process can be modelled for students. It uses the highlighting method of marking, which is sometimes referred to as Tickled Pink and Green for Go. The advantage of this approach is that it is very visual and allows students to easily spot their successes and areas for improvement. Because the feedback is visual, it is also easier for students to recall.

    Here is a piece of written work with identified learning intentions and features of quality. You could use a similar piece of work (perhaps from another or past class) and have the class collectively assess the work. This will model for them how to use this method of assessment.

    As we discussed during the formative feedback workshop, the first thing the students would need to do is to identify two areas of the work where the students work successfully met the features of quality. In this example, the first and third sentences have been highlighted in green.

    Next, your students would need to identify an aspect of the work that offers the most scope for improvement. Remember that this wont always be the worst part. Here, the sentence of clouds has been highlighted in pink.

    The class would then generate a prompt suggesting how the student could improve this part of their work. PMB 2007 PMB 2007Finally, you could ask the class to come up with suggestions on what the final improvement might be. What might a student write to realise the improvement?

    After completing an assessment together as a class, and to reinforce the process, you could then pair up students and ask them to replicate the process together on a second piece of work.

    PMB 2007 PMB 2007Using the two stars and a wish (Learning Diary) approach is another good, structured way to help students gain confidence in assessing their own work. This approach works well for assessment of written exercises as well as assessment in practical areas of the curriculum like Art and Home Economics.

    Your students can use this form to record their self-assessment and to share this with you in conference.

    By using this, students take responsibility for identifying how they have met the learning intention and features of quality and have an opportunity to discuss this with the teacher. The form could then be appended to their work and included in their portfolio or learning diary.

    Its important that you encourage your students to use the language of learning intentions and features of quality in their comments. Seeing your two stars and wish comments beside their own will also reinforce for them how to do this.

    PMB 2007 PMB 2007There are other simple ways for students to communicate their self-assessments.

    For example, one simple and effective idea is for students to use traffic light icons labelling their work green, amber or red according to whether they think they have good, partial or little understanding. They could use highlighters to place the relevant colours on specific words.

    You could then ask them to justify their judgements in a peer group, thereby linking peer-assessment to self-assessment. This linkage can help them to develop the skills and detachment needed for effective self-assessment.

    Thumbs up is another way to check understanding, assess a groups opinion or find out how students are feeling about their learning. Thumbs up can mean feeling happy or confident, thumbs down can mean not confident, and horizontal or wavering thumbs can mean they feel uncertain.

    Using a scale to indicate their degree of understanding, for example a scale of 1-5, is another approach.

    Graphic organisers can be used to scaffold learning and help to build student confidence. They also facilitate formative self-/peer-assessment as students can clearly see how much they understand.

    PMB 2007 PMB 2007So far weve been discussing peer- and self-assessment. However, self-evaluation is also important for student development.

    For students, reflecting on how they have learned can be a more difficult skill to develop than assessing what has been learned or produced. Oral responses are easier and more motivating for students than written reflections, which can be more onerous. Self-evaluation can be encouraged through a short plenary session at the start, during or end of the learning.

    You can use prompts to assist this process. Prompts can also be helpful when encouraging students to complete or maintain their own learning logs. When devising prompts, it is useful to think about the effective questioning techniques in the earlier unit.

    PMB 2007 PMB 2007Here is a list of prompts to assist students with the self-evaluation process. These can be very useful in plenary sessions.

    (Pass out Handout 1: Sample Learning Log)

    The same kinds of prompts can also be used for learning logs. The sheet just circulated is a sample learning log.

    PMB 2007 PMB 2007Having a long list like the one on these two slides helps you vary the prompt or focus for reflection and offers students choices. You can frame these as questions, you can relate them to a specific learning intention or you can relate them to a broader piece of work.

    PMB 2007 PMB 2007Many teachers put self-evaluation prompts on display to keep them accessible and in the minds of their students.

    This slide shows a few sample prompts that could be hung as posters around your classroom.

    Visual displays of this type can jog a students memory and provide him or her with a hook for self- evaluation.

    These statements can be a means of reassurance and also of encouraging self-reflection.

    Self-evaluation can be done individually, with learning partners or through collaborative group work.

    PMB 2007 PMB 2007That completes this workshop on peer- and self-assessment and self-evaluation.

    To conclude, here are some parting thoughts on how to make these work in your classroom.

    To realise the benefits, students need to be prepared for how to assess and evaluate properly, and given opportunities to put what theyve learned into practice. However, the following points are important to consider:

    Established routines are very helpful. This ensures that students know that work will be checked by themselves or another student at a specific time during the lesson.

    Students value being given the information they need so they can become independent and self-reliant.

    A variety of strategies helps to maintain interest and motivation.

    Students will need time and support to develop the habits and skills that will help them to maximise the gains possible from peer-assessment.

    Focusing on our students strengths helps them develop a can do attitude, a belief that they can actually improve and know that making effort can lead to success.

    Helping students to see the connections between the learning that has taken place in the past, the learning that is happening today and the learning planned for the future is important. By seeing the connections, students come to value their role in the learning process.

    Finally, parents will need to understand the process and its merits because they can assist in getting your students to think more about what they are learning and how they are learning it.

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