Archive for the 'Self-assessment' Category

Self-Assessment as Critical Skill: Formative Assessment as a Stepping Stone

I am painfully aware that helping students to be able to self-assess is a slow task. On the other hand, I realize how critical this skill is as a lifelong skill. Unless students can self-assess, they will not be able to improve on their own. I certainly do not want my students dependent on me for the rest of their lives to make sure that they are “correct”. I want them to be able to determine for themselves what they are doing and how well it helps them to get to their desired goal. They should be empowered to make their own decisions about the things they do. They do need our help in developing from very structured self-assessments  (Right or Wrong for lower level answers) to evaluating their decisions without any given criteria. Students need to transition through this process.

Formative assessment provides a wonderful stepping stone to self-assessment. As students learn to assess others, they learn what is important about the learning, how that learning can be demonstrated, and  how to identify and implement formative feedback.  They develop the skill to objectively look at their own work. They understand  that they have the techniques to improve.  As one of my English students said, ” I’m learning to look at my own paper as I do when I peer review another student’s paper.”

How do you help your students to be able to self-assess? Do you use formative assessment as a stepping stone?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.


Your Class Calendar and Formative Assessment

Most teachers have class calendars or schedules.  I’m wondering how much formative assessment is mentioned.

I guess that middle and high school teachers formatively assess (diagnosis a student gap, give a specific strategy to overcome that strategy and re-assess for success) less than  10% of the assessment time and  do summative assessments 90% or more.

How different it would be if teachers put formative assessment in their class schedule to show that formative assessment was a regular part of learning.

An English teacher may have for the writing section of class (Pre-write topic for contrast paper and have teacher, peer or self assessment of topic, narrowed topic, thesis, brainstorm, categories of proof,  graphic organizer or other organizer).

A science teacher may have the students write  a lab report draft (Teacher, peer or self assessment of lab report essential parts via a check-list;  compare findings with other students’ reports and report differences)

When students see such assessments, they know that their work will be reviewed, strengths and gaps will be identified, and they will be given precise strategies to overcome their gap and show improvement. They see that the class will help them move forward instead of just receiving a summative  assessment of a  “D”.

Try changing your class calendar to include formative assessments and see the difference in student learning.

Harry Grover Tuttle's Two Formative Assessment Books

My Formative Assessment Book Published

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, was published by Eye on Education. I just got my copy.

I’m proud of the book since I included so many practical suggestions. I’ve read too many articles and books that talk about formative assessment. In fact, I just finished a book about feedback that was very general. It took a very long time to say very little. Very few writings take it to the classroom level with specifics. So my book has many examples for the sections of building in student responses, monitoring, diagnosing, formative feedback, time for growth, reporting and celebrating. It is meant to be a bank of easy to implement ideas.

I reread it last night. I begin thinking more about some of the activities and realized that I can modify some of my present activities to be even more formative, helping my students to begin to walk on the path to success.

Portfolio -Real Reflections or Surface Ones?

I’m still thinking about the conversation with a person about portfolios at her college. She says that the students are helped in their reflections since the college provides a worksheet. When she showed me the worksheet which was in thin columns – it asked for the evidence, what they thought was good and what improvements they can think of.

I realized that students have to have very small ideas to fit in the columns. Students were not asked what they had learned about the standard from their college experiences. They were encouraged to think of changes but without identifying what they had learned, I do not know how they could tell what they still needed to learn or change. They did not have the standard in front of them to identify which parts that have had success with and which parts they still needed to work on.

Do your students’ portfolio reflections represent in-depth thinking or surface comments?

Changing Formative Ideas into Formative Practice

My oral presentation students do a pre- and post -assessment of themselves for each speech. I agree with their self-assessments. However, once they know their learning gaps, they do not know how to improve.  They may self analysis that  “I need to have more eye contact.” but they do not improve in it.

I have found that if I can give them some “hands-on” hints to improve then they do improve. I used to tell them to look up after each period but I found that many  students just kept on reading.  Now I have them put a large slash at the end of each sentence and, furthermore, I suggest that the slash is in a bold color like red and that it is a big slash. I want them to see that slash and then look up. Now my students do have eye contact as they read their speech. The physical reminder causes them to demonstrate a good speaking technique.

Many students need physical reminders of how to do well.  Words do not suffice.  What physical techniques do you give your students so they can improve?

Student Self-Assessment and Improving Standards Learning

Self assessment

There are numerous ways that students can self-assess themselves.

1. Checklist. You can provide them with a specific standards-based checklist for a particular activity. If they do not have a check, they decide what they have to do to get the check. You can look over their checklist and record their results with a “1” if they have it and a “0” if they do not have it in your standards recording. You verify that you agree with their checks.

2. Rubric. Students self-assess during the mid-way and at the 3/4 point in a project on a standards-based rubric. Each time they are to rate themselves and specifically state what they will do to improve their score. Students keep track of their scores on a spreadsheet that also has their improvement comments in it. You verify that you agree with their ratings and make sure that their suggested improvements will actually result in doing better.

3. Comparison. Students compare their present work to the previous work to see which better demonstrates the standard. They explain which is better and why. They may put them both in a word process with comments after each. They suggest their own improvements to make the better one even better.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

Student Personal Learning Goals and Self-Assessment in a Blog

Personal Goals in a Blog

We all want students to be life long learners. Students have to be able to self-assess and improve. One technique is for students to create a personal subject area or school goal blog.

They identify what their own major goals are for the course and how they might go about achieving those goals or what help they might need. Frequently during the semester they revisit their goals and write about their progress. They may revise their goals or revise the activities to help them get there.They add evidence of their activities that support their growth in their goals.

These blogs become their goal and learning online journals. The blog serves as a personal celebration of the students’ successes. They may choose to put some of this in their eportfolio.

How do you have students’ use blogs for their own self assessment of their learning goals?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Student Eportfolios as Formative Assessment

Eportfolio as formative assessment

Students’ eportfolios can become formative if your students work on the eportfolios throughout the semester or year. If students just put the eportfolio together the last week of class, then the eportfolio cannot serve as formative assessment.

During the first Eportfolio Review Day which may be at the end of five weeks or ten weeks of school, students select which assignment (evidence, artifact) they will use in their eportfolio. As they share their choice with you, you can assess how well they understand the standard and how well their select assignments demonstrate the standard. You can offer assistance if they demonstrate a need.

During the subsequent Eportfolio Review Days, the students compare the most recent assignments that they have done to the ones they have already selected for the eportfolio. They self-assess their own work in terms of the standard. They begin to think of how they can do better future work to be more completely or more in depth demonstrations of their progress in the standard. As they share their decisions with you, you can assess how their understanding of the standard has increased and how much more discriminating they are in selecting good evidence for their eportfolio.

As students develop their reflection on the standard using the what “I learned previously, what I learned in the course, and what I still want to learn” about the standard model, they share it with you. You can help them develop in-depth reflections that truly illustrates their higher-level thinking about the standard.

When students do peer-evaluations of each other’s eportfolio based on the rubric, their formative assessments allows each student to grow

So how else do you use eportfolios as formative assessment?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Black’s Formative Assessment Research: How much do you know about your students?

Formative to Successful Summative Assessment

Black’s meta-analysis of research on formative assessment asserts the critical importance of formative assessment. He found that formative assessment has an “effect size of .4 to .7. These effect sizes are larger than most of those found for educational interventions. An effect gain of .7 in recent international comparative studies in math would have raised the score of a nation in the middle of the pack of 41 countries (i.e. the U.S.) to one of the top five.”

Implementing formative assessment involves these issues:

– It will require a significant change in classroom practice (more focus on formative assessments based on the standards)

– Students have to be actively involved in their learning and their own assessment.

– The results of formative assessment will be used to adjust teaching and learning.

“Do I really know enough about the understanding of my pupils to be able to help each of them?”

Do you? How do you use technology to guide you in collecting and analyzing formative assessment?





Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. Phi Delta Kappan, 80(2), 139-148.



© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007



RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior ( Equally important, a letter […]
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]

Blog Stats

  • 803,069 hits