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Self-Assessment and Metacognition

posted Oct 13, 2018, 12:14 AM by HSD Principal
As you endeavor to help your students be reflective on their learning, here are some ideas from Understanding by Design to help you along (I really like the fourth suggestion):
    • Set aside five minutes in the middle and at the end of an inquiry-based lesson... to consider these questions: So what have we concluded? What remains unsolved or unanswered?
    • Require that a self-assessment be attached to every formal product or performance, with the option of basing a small part of the student's grade on the accuracy of the self-assessment.
    • Include a one-minute essay at the end of the lecture, in which students summarize the two or three main points and the questions that still remain for them (and, thus, next time, for the teacher!).
    • Require students to attach a postscript to any formal paper or product in which they must be honest about what they do and do not really understand about the subject in question - regardless of how authoritative their work may appear. (Of course, students need to know that they will not be penalized for confessing!)
    • Train students to evaluate work in the same way that teachers are trained as advanced placement [sic] readers, so that students become more accurate as peer reviewers and self-assessors, and more inclined to "think like assessors" in their work, too.
Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. p. 216.

Another way to help students evaluate learning is to train them to question their textbooks and other learning materials. As you use course materials, you can help students ask: 
  • What point of view is the author of this textbook promoting? Does he have an agenda?
  • Is the author making assumptions that should be questioned? How can I get more information to make informed conclusions?
  • Can I find a source that comes to a differing conclusion? How can I reconcile the differences?
  • Does this textbook give all the information worth knowing on this subject? How could I find out more?
  • And most importantly: Does what is communicated in this source align with what I understand from the Bible? If not, how do I reconcile the differing perspectives?
The answers to those questions may help students come to deeper understandings of your subject matter, and may help you address essential questions, much more effectively than just following the textbook's outline.
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