Learning Log 1 Module 3

2 Oct

Reading the first sentence of the assigned Fontichiaro articles made me simultaneously laugh and cringe.  On more than one occasion I have guiltily thought, ‘When I am a librarian it will be the best of both worlds: working with students and not grading ANYTHING!”  But, as I continued to read the preview to the articles, I realized I was thinking about assessment in an incredibly narrow way.  Though they often go together, assessment and grading don’t always have to mean the same thing.  The “Getting to Advocacy” section describes how a librarian should seek to collaborate with teachers to assess students, which might be the most fair for all students.  If we truly want to assess both the process and the product, as well as prepare students for the “real world” assessing them on their information literacy fluency (Stripling in Fontichiaro, 166) may be the most relevant way to assess all students.

Another striking feature of the Fontichiaro readings was the emphasis on student self – assessment.  Often (though not purposefully), I don’t allow my students many opportunities to assess their own work.  These readings reminded me that self – assessment can be the most powerful form of assessment.  First, many students tend to get “test anxiety” when they know they will be assessed.  Having students assess themselves often makes assessment a natural part of the learning process.  And when the formal assessment from a teacher, or a summative assessment is assigned, the student will know what areas he or she will have to study or seek extra help on, because they will have already evaluated their progress with the topic or project.  Next, teaching students to self assess requires that they develop learning strategies that work for their learning style.  A focus of this week’s discussion boards is differentiation and learning styles.  Pappas notes on page 174 that students can chose brainstorming and process organizers that work for them.  Having students chose the organizer gives them more ownership over their work and encourages them to organize and summarize information on their own.  Then, they can assess if the organizer they chose was the best for the task.  The research reflections, journaling prompts, and exit slips on pages 176 – 177 also seem really helpful in getting students to address their own learning styles and learning needs.

A final thought I had after reading through the Fontichiaro articles is that if we really want students to advocate for their own learning and self assess we must offer them more choice over their educations.  Obviously core skills should still be addressed K – 12, but offering students more electives or self – directed classes could increase student advocacy and the desire to self assess because they would be studying something they were truly interested in and would want to address how their skill/ content knowledge has grown for that topic.

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