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Who Owns the Learning?

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If the main purpose of assessment is to improve and inform student learning, then the student really needs to be included in the assessment process. How are students to reach a target if they don't know where it is? If the students are actively involved in collecting evidence of their learning, then they begin to articulate what they have learned and what they still need to work on. A good place to start is by ensuring that everyone has a common understanding of what success/quality looks like:

What process might be used to co-construct success criteria?
Setting and Using Success Criteria (adapted from Davies, Cameron & Gregory 2011):


1. Begin with the curriculum expectations (overall and clustered specific expectations) and create student-friendly learning goals for a unit. Create rich tasks with these goals clearly in mind.
2. Identify the dimensions of each task by using the provincial achievement chart category (Knowledge/Understanding, Thinking, Application, Communication respectively) according to purpose.
3. Make a brainstormed list of ‘look-fors’ for success in each task.
4. Sort and categorize each task list into criteria and details.
5. DETERMINE WHICH CRITERIA ARE ESSENTIAL TO MEETING THE LEARNING GOALS AND WHICH ARE TRUE INDICATORS OF QUALITY EVIDENCE/WORK (not all criteria are essential to the learning, some criteria may become task requirements).
6. Make and post a T-chart (placing criteria on the left and placing relevant details on the right).
7. Use authentic samples of student work to revisit/revise the list. 

It is vitally important for teachers and students to distinguish between assignment requirements (must-haves for format/procedure-i.e. font, font size, colour), and criteria (important markers for quality performance tied to curriculum)

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