Reflective Essays On Assessment

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Students are an intrinsic part of the information sharing process. They can reflect on their learning and be involved in a number of ways.

Student-led conferences

Student-led conferences are an increasingly common way for schools to carry out some of their information sharing with parents. They give students an opportunity to share with their growth as a learner with their parents. Find out more about student-led conferences below:

Student reflection in written reports

Students can reflect on their learning as part of the school’s written reporting process. Students could write a letter to their parents or complete a template to insert into the report.

The letter or template could include some reflection stems such as:

  • I feel good about…
  • I used to… but now I…
  • Two things I will remember about what I have learnt over the last 6 months are…
  • A strategy that really helped me learn better is…
  • If I could do something again differently, I would…
  • One thing I will remember to do in the future is…
  • One thing I really want to learn is...

Student self-assessment

Students could complete six-monthly self-assessments that are related to their important learning goals. They could develop criteria with the teacher and then assess themselves at two time points using a tool such as the one below.

These assessments could also be shared with parents during student-led conferences, through portfolios or through inserting them into written reports.

Download a template of this diagram here.

Template Student self assessment of learning dispositions (Word 2007 78 KB)

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Effective reporting involves each child in taking increasing responsibility for his or her own learning. Students need to be clear about: what they have learnt, which learning strategies were successful, what they need to focus on next and why it is important. (Principle 4)

Assessing students’ reflective thinking could reveal learning outcomes which summative assessment could not. Therefore, the researcher as course instructor decided to look into students’ reflective writing for a more insightful feedback on their learning outcomes. One cohort of students in an environmental management course were requested to write reflection notes at the completion of each assignment, and towards the end of the course a piece of reflective essay. The students’ reflective writings were then analysed for snippets of evidence that purportedly meets the course learning outcomes. These evidences of students’ learning outcomes were gathered and examined for emerging patterns and trends in the students’ reflective thinking that relates to the course objectives. The document analysis method was applied to identify and match the students’ reflective writings with the learning objectives. Findings reveal students’ achievement of learning outcomes and higher order thinking skills, as outlined in the course objectives. It is hoped that findings from this research will further support the significance of reflective thinking on learning. Reflective notes provide meaningful feedback on learning to instructors that could be acted upon towards improvement of a course. Educators and educationists could look at students’ reflective writings as an effective form of assessment that would provide a more insightful assessment of students’ learning and thoughts.


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