The role assessment plays in education continues to change and in our proposed learning environment, where learning is organized according to ability rather than grade structures, assessment can be approached by using it more as a motivating and confidence-building tool, as opposed to a tool used to compare peers. Some things our group discussed both in our blog and in the broader class discussion were the roles of peer evaluation, peer assessment and self-assessment.
Peer-Designed Assessment/Peer Evaluation
Peer designed assessment and peer evaluation are integral parts in ability-based learning, because in this academic model, learning is student-centered and students take ownership of their own learning by reflecting on their own and others’ work as they are often learning in collaborative teams. By allowing peer assessment in ability-based learning, you will likely see increased student autonomy and knowledge of expectations because assessment is most effective when it is ongoing. Peer assessment can be effective because it moves away from putting the focus on marks towards emphasizing learning characteristics involved in a task and in ability-based learning, peer assessment helps give teachers a ways to identify resources that support individual learners.
Self-assessments allow students to understand their own learning styles and preferences, and this way, students monitor and enhance their own learning process through the development of self-assessment and reflection skills. These skills are important in ability-based learning because this model is very learner-driven and depends on those independent reflective skills. The ability based learning model focuses on creating learning opportunities and experiences for students to help them with identifying their own learning styles and then implementing techniques to help them learn in what’s going to be the most productive and positive way possible. Self-assessment can be a powerful tool in enabling students to monitor their own learning and set goals for future progress. When learners gain these skills, it leads students to become more self-directed and reflective, which will help them advance in ability-based learning environments.