I don’t know how I can teach my students about meta-cognition without teaching them how to be reflective learners. In order to do that, they need to be able to honestly self-evaluate – against another’s standards (a rubric), rather than as they want to see themselves. Our school year is divided into two semesters, so at the end of each quarter (because it’s just a natural divide) I have students complete a self-evaluation.
What I tell the students:
They are to review the rubric (found on Self-Evaluation Rubric page), find where they HONESTLY fit, and answer the prompt (found on the Self-Evaluation Prompt page), typed and using complete thoughts and sentences.
I make it very clear that this is NOT a grade that reflects where students want to be, where they wish they were, or the value that will raise their grade to where they wish it was. This is a realistic, honest, self-evaluation of their performance in class over the ENTIRE semester.
What I do:
- When I hand out the assignment, I write down the grade I feel each student has earned. I use a spreadsheet, but it could be in a grade book, or even on scrap paper.
- I give the students a handout that has the prompt and the rubric. I try to assign this on Friday, and collect the finished papers on Monday.
- The night I collect the evaluation papers, I will read them – without looking at the grades they assigned themselves. After reading everything through once, I will go back and enter their self-assigned scores into the next column on the spreadsheet.
- Regarding grades, I tell the students:
- If the grade I gave you is higher (or equal to) your grade, you will automatically get my grade.
- If your grade is within 5 percent of my grade, I will average the grades, and you will get the average.
- If the student’s grade is more than 5 percent higher than the grade I had given them, I will email the student and ask them to come meet with me. The purpose of the meeting is three-fold:
- I want to give them a chance to justify their grade to me. Show me what I’m missing/not seeing. Demonstrate their reflective and self-evaluative skills.
- Or, I want to tell them what I’m seeing (which is obviously different from what they think they are doing) – and, hopefully, gain greater self-evaluation skills.
- (If necessary), help them objectively give themselves a grade.
Do NOT compare students’ self-evaluations to each other.
It’s easy to let this process drag on (life can get in the way, at times). Give yourself a deadline, and stick to it.