Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Another Assessment Possibility

Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Another Assessment Possibility

Article excerpt

Many things have changed in Agricultural Education in the last few years. One thing that has not changed since the first little one-room schoolhouse was constructed on the prairie is the need to assess students. Much to the student's dismay, we still need to test to see if students are grasping what is being taught, and record some scores in a grade book. However, it is not just about recording a grade in our grade book. It is possible that the process of assessment can also be a teachable moment.

Self-assessment by the students provides this teachable moment. Self-assessment includes students assisting in the grading of their own projects, and in their work effort. I interview each student, while evaluating a project. Questions I ask may include

"What did you learn?"

"What would you do differently or change?"

"What grade do you think you earned?"

The students point out both positive and negative aspects of their project. Most students are hard on themselves, and other than a few dreamers, they are very honest and fair in evaluating the quality of their work.

By having students help in the grading of projects, they learn to evaluate their work. This allows for some self constructive criticism. If we are truly trying to prepare students for careers after school, an important skill set is the ability to evaluate your work and look for ways to make improvements. Problem solving is a skill they will use no matter what career they will chose. Also, students learn some negotiation skills. I always ask "Why do you think you deserve this grade?" They have to be able to defend their answer with some solid reasons. …

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