Self-assessment: essential or excessive? : a study on the impact of student self-assessment in the math classroom
The value of the regular practice of student self-assessment is both championed and disregarded among K-12 educators. While some claim its merit and results override the fact that content instruction time is lost due to its presence in the classroom, others argue that in the age of high-stakes testing time cannot be spent on such a practice. This study uses two cohorts to discover the effects of regular, ongoing student self-assessment practice in a middle school mathematics class. The first cohort serves as a baseline, spanning the 2010-2011 school year, in which self-assessment was not specifically taught or encouraged. The second cohort (2011-2012) covered the same curriculum as the first cohort (including assessments), yet habitually practiced self-assessment throughout the learning process. Students were taught how to self-assess, given a structure by which to monitor their progress, and were provided with multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery of content in order to accommodate their needs as determined by their self-assessment. The focus of the self-assessment model students learned was that understanding mathematics is a spectrum (making it unreasonable to claim "I just don't get math" in a holistic, defeatist manner), and thus everyone can evaluate what they know and identify the next step in the learning process. As a result of this practice, the second cohort, on average, outscored the first cohort on every final score of the unit assessments, as well as the summative MCA-III standardized test. While there are changes to be made to the implementation of this program for future cohorts of students, the conclusion reached after analysis of this study is that self-assessment improves student achievement, leads to greater confidence among students, and should therefore be a regular practice in a mathematics classroom.
Mathematics--Study and teaching (Middle school)--Evaluation
Mathematics--Study and teaching (Middle school)