STEP 1: Collect examples of work (presentations, writings)
We choose a few examples of previous assignments from the pupil’s notebooks.
For oral presentations the pupils prepare their presentation with the help and guidance of the teacher. They first present their topic to their best friend (then to a group of classmates, finally those who feel comfortable enough can present in front of the entire class).
For show and tell as well as physics, biology, chemistry, and geography reports the pupils can use examples of reports from previous years. (The pupils first present their work to the teacher, their best friend, and a group of classmates. Then only those pupils who feel comfortable enough present in front of the whole class.)
STEP 2: Analysing the work by pointing out its strengths or what we can learn from it.
We analyse the assignments by using an OHP or an electronic whiteboard to project scans of the assignments for the entire class to see. The pupils voice their opinions on each of the assignments. They name the strengths and weaknesses of each work, list what they think is the most important part of the assignment, point out if anything is missing, or suggest what could be improved upon. We focus on the positive aspects of each example and not on the negatives.
The same principle applies to oral presentations as well. We look at each of the presentations and try to find what we like about them. We also define what criteria will be used to determine the best oral presentations in the future.
STEP 3: Writing the criteria with the pupils (using their own words).
During the analysis, we write down the criteria onto a poster or piece of paper. We write down the criteria using the pupils’ own words and expressions. All the pupils need to understand the criteria and have to agree with them. That’s how we ensure that the pupils will use the criteria when preparing their assignments and will be able to self-assess in a more accurate manner. Always leave enough space on the poster so that more criteria can be added later on. The same poster can be used as the pupils move on to the next grade if we adapt it to suit their progress.
STEP 4: Writing self-reflections or self-evaluations.
Writing down the evaluation of a chosen assignment. We choose the best assignment out of all of the submissions and either write an evaluation of the assignments based on the criteria we set beforehand or start planning the next assignment. When the pupils are writing their self-evaluation, we help them form coherent sentences or assist them in writing check-lists outlining different criteria. We can use colours, emojis, and other distinct ways of marking different goals. Once the pupils learn how to write successful and accurate self-evaluations, it’s good to teach them how to express their opinions on their own assignments (or the work of their classmates) orally as well. This helps pupils become more self-assured when describing and defending their qualities which helps them build confidence. While the pupils are listening to their peers’ evaluation of their work, we teach them that they can either accept their classmates’ opinions or not. This helps the pupils learn that there is nothing wrong with having different opinions.
STEP 5: Choosing an assignment for self-evaluation. The pupils had to choose between two assignments and select the better one based on the criteria we set beforehand. They also had to submit the arguments backing their choice in written form.
We can use the same or similar methods and approaches for several different skill levels, grades, and age groups. You can find an example of a similar case of evaluating project work in the video here.