Note: after a year of use, the Self Assessment Guide has now been superseded by the Visual Assessment Guide.

Last year I completed my Unified ICT Rubric for KS3, and even before it was finished I hated it. It was too big, too complex and too restrictive. I have spent the last year slowly thinking of a better way, looking around at what others are doing, and trying to roll disparate ideas into something simple, cohesive and, gasp, even fun. The result is the document and process you see below. It is a system of student self assessment, where the teacher is there to verifying and adjudicate student’s own assessments of themselves. But, it is more than simply an assessment guide, it is also a way for students to understand a whole course, and to map their progress.

ICT & Media Assessment Guide_web

Large version (PNG) | A3 printable version (PDF) | Editable student version w/ log (Pages)

The Teaching & Assessment Process

This document can be used in numerous ways to support teaching and learning. The description below is the way I am currently planning to use it:

  • The first step has been to reduce the number of units in each year, to free up 5 lessons for students to work on self assessment. You can see my draft KS3 ICT & Media Plan, to look at what exactly is covered.
  • Students will be introduced to the guide during the first lesson of the year, and we will work through the instructions (top right of the guide) together.
  • For each unit of study, students will reflect on roughly 5 strand+keyword pairs (e.g. Intellectual Property+Creative Commons). At first, I will select these for them, after some practice they should be able to select them themselves.
  • Students will study as per usual, creating an artifact which they will submit for assessment.
  • Students will then write their reflection, showing clearly how they have achieved each level, going as high as they can. They will assign themselves a grade using the average of their layers. This reflection, plus grade, will be submitted as well.
  • Using both the submitted work, as well as the reflection, I will vet their self assessment, and determine whether it is accurate. Any adjustments (up or down), will be made before the final grade is recorded.
  • Finally, students will highlight the keywords they have reflected on, using the header colour from the highest level they have achieved.¬†As students progress through the course, they should end up with an ongoing map of their achievement:

ICT & Media Assessment Guide_highlights

I would love to get some input on this idea. How does it compare with your own assessments? Do you think it will work? Is it suitable to subjects other than ICT & Media?

Acknowledgements: this work has not been created in isolation, but rather has been influenced by many other teachers and their approaches to assessment and education in general. I would like to acknowledge Jennifer Goldthorpe’s work on self assessment, Mark Roper & Kevin Lester’s IEA work on a clear lexis for assessment and Chris Leach for tipping me over the edge.