Helping pupils thrive through self-assessment
Haylie Taylor, EducationCity’s education consultant and a former teacher, provides insight on the importance of boosting independent learning and looks at how schools can help their pupils thrive by prioritising regular self-assessment activities over formal testing…
The ability to think and act independently is one of the most important skills that students can learn. Creating learners who are in control of their education helps to nurture them to become independent thinkers outside the classroom, and in the interim, helps improve their educational outcomes.
Through the adaptation of more independent learning activities in the classroom, teachers may need to surrender some teacher-centric strategies to make room for those that enable students to have greater input into discovering their preferred learning style. Consequently, some concerns may emerge regarding the diminished role for teachers however, there is little cause for concern. Teachers are, and will continue to be, an imperative aspect of education and the development of independent learning among pupils. Additionally, as teachers work in tandem with edtech resources, like EducationCity, they are actively helping students thrive through self-assessment, building on self-confidence and empowering each student through the provision of instant feedback, data, and progress reports – all of which are important tools in establishing the basis for independent learning.
Importantly, self-assessment methods are valuable in helping students to achieve learning objectives and providing an insight into their preferred learning style. In many instances, formal assessment is unavoidable however, regular self-assessment can not only lead to mastery, it can also be a useful tactic for developing self-correction and in easing pupil anxiety and stress in the lead up to exams. Through the provision of constructive feedback, self-assessment slowly builds students’ confidence and transforms barriers to learning into challenges that can be overcome with appropriate support and guidance. Self-assessment also helps students’ attainment through the repetitive, but importantly not monotonous, delivery of content in a range of contexts that help instill a deeper understanding of foundational concepts using methods that best suit each student. It is this prioritisation of personalised learning that allows students to effectively evaluate their learning methods and develop a better understanding of their coursework.
Creating independent learners is a top priority for teachers and using resources that emphasise self-assessment goes a long way towards ensuring students are receiving personalised tutelage and revision methods that leverage their personal strengths and build upon their weaknesses. Implementing independent learning in the classroom also provides students with a sense of responsibility and ownership over their education, both of which are valuable characteristics in the greater education objective of developing responsible learners who will pursue their interests with critical inquiry and passion.
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