Empowering Students Through Self-Assessment

by Svetlana Nikic

In these times of great technological change and computer apps, teachers are inundated with data and therefore often puzzled how to revise their approaches to assessment that often fails to inform about direct learning, teaching and the whole child. To resolve this dilemma in my Algebra 150 class, I developed a scorecard for daily lessons, skills, activities and homework.

Students grade themselves using a point system for every activity based on modeled exemplary answers. I found this assessment tool to be a best fit for my students because it aligns with our school’s core values and mission statement in terms of commitment to inspire our students to value academic and personal growth through character education.

The scorecard empowers students to be in charge of their own grades and learning. Moreover, it serves as a reflective tool in terms of skills not mastered, work effort, and determination towards making up missed lessons. Consequently, this assessment tool educates the whole child in terms of academics and character. This practice gives students the opportunity to apply honesty, self-reflection, and determination. The scorecard takes the assessment piece from teacher and puts it in the hands of students.

The following are some statements made by students about the meaning of this type of self-assessment:

“ The scorecard doesn’t just represent our current grades, it represents the ability we as human beings have to reflect on our mistakes and whether or not we have the will to fix them. Fixing our mistakes determines if we decide to learn from them and make progress in school and in life.” – Endrita Mehmetaj

“The scorecard helps us think about our core values and character while we fill it out. We use honesty to put our truly earned amount of points. We use self-control to not add extra points. Every core value applies to it when we are placing our points. Even when the teacher isn’t observing you, you put the right points which reveals your true character. This means doing the right thing when no one is watching you.” – Shandana Safari

“The scorecard epitomizes responsibility and honesty. If you are not honest you are deceiving yourself and cheating your conscience not the teacher and grade. It is about self-awareness and your true knowledge of subject matter. You also practice responsibility and determination by always keeping it in a secure place and by paying attention in class not to miss anything to record in it. These skills will succor us in the future for self-assessment and expertise in self-management as an adult.” – Ellaha Martin

Does her approach really work? We’ll let you be the judge. 99% of her Algebra 150 students score Proficient or Advanced in their End-of-Course Exams

Svetlana Nikic

Svetlana is the Academic Instruction Coordinator and teaches Algebra at Busch Middle School of Character.

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