What is student-centered assessment? What is it not? How is it implemented in the classroom, and when implemented, what is the impact? The Students at the Center project has produced the following suite of resources as part of a continued effort to help make the research papers and edited book come alive and be more applicable to those wishing to implement more student-centered approaches in the classroom, school, district, or beyond.
Open the slide boxes below to learn more about self-assessment, peer assessment, exhibitions, and process portfolios. Download a toolkit (.pdf) on each topic and view a series of student-centered assessment videos.
Student-Centered Assessment Guide: Self-Assessment
WHAT IS SELF-ASSESSMENT?
Self-assessment is simply a matter of having students identify strengths and weaknesses in their own work and revise accordingly. Effective self-assessment involves students comparing their work to clear standards and generating feedback for themselves about where they need to make improvements. It is a tool that can promote learning if it is used while the learning is taking place. In order for self-assessment to be effective, students must be able to use their self-generated feedback to revise and improve their work before it is due for grading. After students self-assess and revise their work, they can turn it in for a grade.
WHAT IS NOT SELF-ASSESSMENT?
Self-assessment is not a process by which students determine their own grades. Although students tend to be quite honest when asked to formatively self-assess, the temptation to inflate a summative self-evaluation is often too great. Self-assessment is about promoting learning and achievement, not about grading. Self-assessment also is not something that happens after an assignment is complete and students are ready to turn it in for a final grade.
Student-Centered Assessment Guide: Peer Assessment
WHAT IS PEER ASSESSMENT?
Peer assessment is simply a matter of students giving informed feedback to one another on an assignment. Effective peer assessment is related to clear standards and is supported by a constructive process of critique. Peer assessment is a valuable tool because feedback from peers can be delivered with more immediacy and in greater volume than teacher feedback. Peer assessment should happen during the learning process, on works-in-progress, and be followed by opportunities for students to use the feedback they received to revise their work.
WHAT IS NOT PEER ASSESSMENT?
Peer assessment is not a process by which peers determine grades for one another. Although some teachers have had success with peer grading, turning peer assessment into peer evaluation is risky and may lead to negative attitudes toward the peer assessment process. In general, peers provide feedback; teachers provide grades.
Student-Centered Assessment Guide: Exhibitions
WHAT IS AN EXHIBITION?
An exhibition is a high-stakes demonstration of mastery that occurs at a culminating academic moment, such as the end of a school year or at graduation. Exhibitions are summative assessments, but the process of building up to a final exhibition includes ongoing assessment, feedback, and revision. Exhibitions are open to the public, and community members and local experts are often invited to attend. Because exhibitions involve extensive preparation, they are most successful when adopted on a school-wide basis.
WHAT IS NOT AN EXHIBITION?
An exhibition is not something that simply happens at the end of a unit, detached from prior learning. An exhibition is the end result of an extended, in-depth period of learning. An exhibition provides evidence that students have mastered specific content and standards.
Exhibitions are not limited to the fine arts. Students can use exhibitions to demonstrate mastery in all domains.
Student-Centered Assessment Guide: Process Portfolios
WHAT IS A PROCESS PORTFOLIO?
A process portfolio is a purposeful collection of student work that documents student growth from novice to master. Successful process portfolios actively engage students in their creation, especially in determining their goals, selecting work to be included, and reflecting on how each piece demonstrates progress toward their goals.
WHAT IS NOT A PROCESS PORTFOLIO?
A process portfolio is not a collection of a student’s best work. Showcase portfolios serve that purpose. The purpose of a process portfolio is to promote student reflection and ownership over the learning process. By having students set goals for their process portfolios, decide which works to include in them, and reflect on how the chosen pieces document growth, student learning becomes more self-regulated.
Process portfolios should not be used as large-scale, summative evaluations—they work best when used formatively, for classroom-level assessment purposes.
Student-Centered Assessment Video Resources
What does student-centered assessment look like in the classroom? How do students benefit from this type of assessment? Why do teachers implement these practices in their classrooms? The Students at the Center project, in conjunction with Dr. Heidi Andrade, Ed.D. and the students and teachers from IS 223 (Brooklyn, NY), produced this suite of videos to begin to answer these questions for those wishing to implement more student-centered approaches in the classroom, school, district, or beyond and to help translate research from “Assessing Learning” and its companion Anytime, Anywhere chapter into practice.
The first video, Student-centered Assessment Jeopardy, serves as an introduction to the series. Play along as three contestents tackle questions on the particulars of self- and peer assessment and learn where to find current research on key components of student-centered approaches to learning along with a collection of student-centered tools and resources. This animation is a great introduction for teachers and students alike.
The next two videos in the series depict ISS 223 students and teachers engaging in and reflecting on student-centered self- and peer assessment. Learn how to effectively implement self- and peer assessment in your classroom and hear how what your students can gain from these practices.
Finally, watch as Dr. Heidi Andrade, Ed.D. defines the key components of self- and peer assessment and explains why should you try it in your classroom.