Remote Teaching: Student Self-Assessment Guide

Just like Slide Talk—one of the updates that will forever replace the physical version in my teaching—this self-assessment guide is a big upgrade when it comes to grading time…

In the past, I handed out the rubric you see above, students circled their grade, and that was that. I still had to follow up when they under- or over-assessed their grade, which wasn’t often, but there had to be at least some explanation. Students typically just chose something between the grade they wanted and the grade they thought they’d get away with, which usually lined up with the gradebook evidence. This new digital guide gets students thinking a bit more metacognitively (e.g. “hmm, I *want* a 100, but do I actually have the evidence to back it up?), and leads them to see how different criteria affects their grade (e.g. they always read at home, but never respond in class, so it’s clearer that they probably can’t get a 95). Students point me to specific evidence, too, making it even easier to grade (if you can believe that). Also, I’ve reported the results of their self-assessment—in that 0% portfolio grading category—directly next to the course grade itself to highlight the comparison:

In the class sample above, you’ll notice how four students underestimated their grade, one really overshot it, and the rest were spot on with the number I’ve been updating each week. N.B. if you use this grading system, be sure to have a number in there to start out the year. Otherwise, the 0% grading category generates a grade of 0(F) since nothing is in the category actually counting towards grade! It’s no different from students starting with 100 in a traditional system as that number drops with averaged scores. Here are screenshots of the self-assessment guide, which you can make a copy of and edit criteria as needed:

The example student isn’t reading at home, as expected.
The next screen starts to give them a guide as to what their grade is.
The example student is definitely submitting work each week.
Notice how this includes the “if reading every day at home” condition, which the example student didn’t select in the first question. They can start to see how both factor into the grade.
I get a lot of honest self-assessments like this. I mean, it’d be hard to claim you’re really engaged during class when the teacher knows you’re not, so students tend to answer this one accurately.
The example student began with maybe an 85, saw how they could’ve had a 95 with reading more at home, then now sees how checking out during class can have a big impact.
A typical move is to split the difference between what a student wants, but then realizes isn’t possible given how they haven’t met expectations. I find a lot of honest responses in the rational, with students readily admitting where they could improve.

To recap, the example student isn’t reading each day, so an 85(B) at most, is taking pics of notebook (i.e. copying things and maybe doing annotations during class when prompted), and doesn’t respond (e.g. not even in private chat over Zoom). I’d agree with this student’s self-assessment of a 75(C), especially if they have absences. After all, if they’re missing class, they’re missing out on input. Reading can’t really make up for interaction, either, and they’re not even doing it daily. There’s also the slight possibility that this student’s notebook pics submitted each week aren’t evidence that they’ve been present and engaged during class, receiving input and meeting expectations. For example, I’ve had students send pics of the book we sent home, and screenshots of randomly searched Latin on the internet. A student like this might *think* they’re in the clear by submitting something each week, but the combination of not responding in class, with no actual evidence of participating is tricky. In rare cases like that, this student’s grade could be as low as 65(D). Of course, it shouldn’t go that far, with reaching out to the student a priority (e.g. “hey, thanks for submitting pics, but we need to see *your* work from class, not a book [you said] you read.”).

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