Self-assessment encourages students to be reflective about their learning, and helps to develop their skills in judging, and therefore improving, their work' (p.150, Kear, 2011). They become more aware of the gaps in their knowledge and understanding providing them with feedback on areas to develop, and an opportunity to reflect upon the skills and experience they have gained.
Self-assessment can take a number of forms:
- Reflective - where students reflect upon their learning experiences as well as the work they have produced.
- Formative - where students use a tool to assess their skills, knowledge and understanding. This would also include formative feedback to direct the student on their strengths and areas for development.
Why would I use technology to help students assess themselves?
- Quickly and easily capture and record their progress
- Easily shared with others (staff and peers)
- Mobile devices can provide access to these tools on the move
- Personal to the learner - providing them with information relevant to them and a space in which to express themselves
- Self-assessment tests can instantly provide feedback to students (no marking and return time needed)
- Tests can be re-used or updated more easily
How do I use technology to do this?
Start by considering what it is that you want the students to assess. As mentioned whether you want the student to assess their skills, knowledge and understanding through a test or whether you want them to record their reflections on their learning will determine what type of tool you will use.
There are a number of tools which can be used to support formative self-assessment. These commonly include online quizzes, problem-based tests, initial assessments and psychometric tests. These automatically collate the student answers to a set of questions and then instantly provide the student with information about how they have done and areas for development.
There are also many tools which can be used to aid student reflection, with blogs and e-portfolios being the most common. These tools provide a personal space to collect together their thoughts, write about their experiences and provide links to evidence (samples of work, testimonials, images, videos, etc.) of their learning.
Kear, K. (2011) Online and Social Networking Communities: A Best Practice Guide for Educators, Abingdon, Routledge.