Why not give assignments, homeworks, classwork etc with a feedback proforma like these, (only with more space). This helps the teacher give learning-focussed rather than grading-focussed feedback. Such proformas are not new, but are under-used. Make sure they are bigger than shown to allow space for writing.
Generic assessment criteria
Here, as an example, is a set of negotiated criteria used to assess essays. Any generic skill could be developed in the same way, e.g. electronic circuit design, painting, lab report writing, etc.
Ask students for criteria first. They will come up with most of them, and will then really ‘own’ them. Follow this with a discussion on which criteria really count and why. This is very helpful to clarify good practice and your expectations. Each criterion needs to be discussed, explained, and justified to the class. (I do not pretend that the criteria below are the only, or the best criteria for essay writing, you must decide your own!)
Criteria are then used repeatedly, perhaps for every essay written on the course. Students hand in the work already self-assessed, then the teacher assesses against the same criteria. Ideally no grade is awarded, or if it is, it is given some weeks after this informative feedback. Black and Wiliam’s research review shows that if you grade students pay attention only to this, and don’t read your feedback.
Ruth Beard in “Teaching in Higher Education” claims that such generic criteria greatly improve importance over a course even without self-assessment. Black and Wiliam showed that self-assessment and informative feedback were amongst the most important things a teacher did.
The following grids should all be much bigger in practice, to allow more space for comments.
P It’s okay if you don’t fully understand a concept first time, learning takes time.
P If this work is graded, aim to beat your own record, not someone else’s
P what counts is whether you understand the problem and solution, not whether you made any silly slips
P If you got something wrong that’s fine. It’s how we learn.
P You will learn from mistakes if you find out how to do it without mistakes next time, and really understand this.
Freely based on ‘Using Assessment to Raise Achievement in Mathematics’ QCA Nov 2001
Below are examples of assignment-specific assessment proformas:
Vocational Skills – Care
Self-assessment of key criteria for written work
Below is a list of some of the most important skills needed when completing any written tasks. These skills will help you achieve your Care Modules and will also help you in the future whenever you need to find out information for yourself and present it well.
Please think about each skill carefully and assess how well you think you do. Then score each one as follows
Red: Needs improving
Which of these skills do you need to improve most?
Learning Target for next piece of
Assessment of Writing Skills
Please think about each skill carefully and assess how well you think you do. Then score each one as follows. Please hand in your plan with your finished work.