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Introductory session


Involving pupils in self- and peer- assessment

This module explores how students can assess and develop their own abilities to use the Key Processes when problem solving. Self and peer assessment have the potential to help pupils become more aware of the goals of their learning and of the ways in which they can improve their own work to achieve these goals. As this awareness grows, pupils become more autonomous learners.

In this module, we follow three teachers: Sheena, Emma and Shane, from Arthur Terry School in Sutton Coldfield, as they explore different ways of helping pupils to assess and improve their own work.

  • If you are leading a session, or working alone you may wish to print a copy of the module handbook.
  • Session leaders should make copies of the handouts for all participants.

(At the end of this short scene-setting video, press Play again to see the first activity).

Activity 1

Explore how pupils may become aware of Key Processes

Handout 1 presents a number of suggestions for making pupils more aware of their own progress in understanding and working on Key Processes.

  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each suggestion.
  • Can you think of any other ways of making pupils more aware of the objectives of these tasks?
  • Can you think of any other ways of engaging pupils in peer assessment?

This module considers some of these suggestions in more depth.

Activity 2

Consider how pupils can learn from sample responses

In an earlier lesson, Sheena's pupils worked individually on the task Text Messaging from Handout 2. The video for this activity shows the follow-up lesson in which pupils compare their own work with carefully selected samples of other pupils' work, also provided on the handout.

Before watching the video clip, familiarise yourself with the task, and with the sample work. Try to anticipate the issues that will arise as this work is discussed by pupils.

Now watch the pupils as they assess the sample work, and then go on to improve their own work.

  • What do aspects of the provided work do pupils attend to?
  • What criteria do pupils use as they assess the sample work?
  • What are pupils learning from the sample work?

Activity 3

Discuss how pupils can assess their own work

In the video, both Emma and Shane ask their pupils to assess and improve each other's work. Emma has collated a selection of her own pupils' work on this task into a poster and has prepared a pupils' version of the progression steps. (On the video, pupils may be heard referring to a 'traffic lights' scheme that Emma uses in her Mathematics lessons).

Shane used the Counting Trees task and has prepared a less structured sheet to help his pupils assess each other's work.

Familiarise yourself with the tasks from Handout 2 and then watch the video extracts of Shane's and Emma's lessons.

  • What observations do pupils make about each other's work?
  • How might this help them to improve their own work?
  • Compare Emma's simplified progression steps with Shane's less structured sheet.
  • Compare the use of work from within the pupils' own class to the use of the sample responses used in activity 2.

Activity 4

Plan to use peer and self-assessment strategies

Plan when you will allow pupils time to tackle one of the assessment problems, individually or in pairs, without your guidance.

Plan how and when you will revisit the task and allow pupils to assess other pupil's work - either work from their classmates or from the sample responses in Handout 2.. Make sure pupils have an opportunity to discuss the importance of the Key Processes, and sufficient time to revise their own work in the light of the comments.

If you have time, watch one of the videos showing more of Emma, Shane and Sheena's follow-up lessons.