One of the strategies that can help address the diversity of students in the classroom is to teach them to assess their own learning. Self-evaluation can and should be an instrument that facilitates attending, respecting and evaluating the different learning rhythms according to the different characteristics of the student. Characteristics relative, for example, to: abilities, learning styles, cognitive strategies, previous experiences and knowledge, motivation, attention, emotional and social adjustment, etc.
Self-evaluation is the strategy par excellence to educate in responsibility and to learn to value, criticize and reflect on the individual teaching and learning process carried out by the student (Calatayud, 2002; 1999). Mainly among the benefits of conducting a true self-assessment, the following stand out:
a) It is one of the means for the student to know and become aware of their individual progress in the teaching and learning process;
b) Helps students to take responsibility for their activities, while developing the capacity for self-government;
c) It is a basic motivating and reinforcing factor for learning;
d) It is a strategy that allows the teacher to know what is the assessment that they make of learning, the contents that are worked in the classroom, the methodology used, etc.
e) It is a learning activity that helps to individually reflect on the teaching and learning process carried out;
f) It is a strategy that can replace other forms of evaluation. In order to attend to diversity, it is necessary to use different evaluative instruments to try to assess the progression of the capacities of each student. Self-assessment can be one more strategy in this assessment process.
g) It is an activity that helps to deepen a greater self-knowledge and understanding of the process carried out and
h) It is a strategy that enables the autonomy and self-direction of the student.
Of all the above reasons, there is no doubt that the student’s self-evaluation can and should be used as a strategy to face the diversity of interests, needs and learning rhythms of students.
Some intervention guidelines to face diversity through self-assessment
Self-assessment, as we have argued previously, is a strategy that helps students become aware of their learning progress and, in addition, facilitates the teacher to understand what is the teaching and learning process carried out by the student, in relation to the difficulties encountered, the objectives achieved, etc. (Calatayud, 2007; 2004; 2004a).
Below we present a list of techniques that we can use to make self-assessment processes a reality as a learning strategy to attend to diversity.
1. Self-evaluation pad: This is an activity in which the student demonstrates the efforts made, the assessment of the work achieved (what did he know? How did I learn it? What do I know now?), In relation to content both in the conceptual field , procedural and attitudinal, what have been the best ideas, the achievements in the different areas of knowledge.
2. Weekly Plan Sheet The objective of this activity is to motivate the student to be responsible for their actions. He knows that he has a week to carry out certain activities and he has to answer for their accomplishment.
3. Self-reflection tools developed by the teacher: These are activities that the teacher designs in order to evaluate and understand how the student is achieving learning. For this, questionnaires, checklists, estimation scales, protocols, etc. are drawn up. to collect relevant information about the teaching and learning process carried out.
4. The student’s journal:. Reflecting on the diary makes it possible to detect problems, make conceptions explicit and enable improvements in the process. From our point of view, the diary is one of the most useful instruments to reach the knowledge, analysis, understanding and assessment of the teaching and learning process carried out by the student, as well as to know and respect the learning rhythm of each one from them.
5. The portfolio, instrument for the formative evaluation of the student: The portfolio is a collection of works, activities, etc. that the student has done during a course. But perhaps the most important thing about this selection of activities is that it must be made up of those activities that have allowed the learner both the possibility of valuing themselves more, and of feeling more sure of themselves.
Undoubtedly, this way of practicing evaluation provides the opportunity to know how each of the students thinks and what their reasoning process is like. As well as, it collects information not only on the products but, above all, on the teaching and learning processes. Therefore, it facilitates that all the teaching and learning activities carried out by the students throughout the course are organized in a coherent way and constitute ordered pieces in their role of construction of the contents of the subject. And it is, without a doubt, one of the best strategies for understanding the different study rates according to the characteristics of the students.
Throughout my years as a teacher in the Public School, the portfolio proposal that we have developed with Secondary Education students has presented two parts: mandatory and voluntary evidence. When we speak of evidence we are referring to each of the contents of the portfolio that reflects student learning.
In relation to the mandatory evidences we have raised:
– Concept maps of all topics.
– Questions or activities of different levels of complexity for each of the topics, formulated by the teacher.
– Resolution of practical cases, etc.
As can be seen, it is about collecting evidence that reflects that they have acquired the basic knowledge of the subject.
Regarding voluntary evidence:
Voluntary evidences, as their name indicates, are those that each student decides to include, either because they have carried out extension activities on any of the topics of their interest, or have developed interrelationships between different aspects of the subject itself or with others. The meaning of this type of evidence is to give students the freedom to direct their learning, within the framework of the subject, but according to their own interests. For example, students can write an essay on a relevant topic in the program using bibliographic sources.
And now to finish comment that throughout this article we have tried to offer the opportunity to present self-evaluation as a learning strategy to attend to diversity. The self-evaluation aims for the student to “be able to assess their teaching and learning process.” A process that is unique and unrepeatable, linked to diverse needs, interests, expectations and motivations. Attention to diversity entails different study rates depending on the characteristics of the students and the self-evaluation can contribute to face it with guarantees of success.
CALATAYUD SALOM. A. (2007): “Evaluation as a learning and improvement instrument. A light in the background ?. In: A. CALATAYUD (Coord). Evaluation as a learning tool. Strategies and techniques. Madrid. MEC.
CALATAYUD SALOM. A. (2004): “The internal evaluation of the didactic departments. Between the pure cosmetics, the exigency and the necessity? In: AA. VV New dynamic nuclei of secondary education centers: the didactic departments. Madrid. MEC.
CALATAYUD SALOM. A. (2004a): “Self-evaluation of teaching practice: an adventure full of difficulties and satisfactions?. Magazine: Education Sciences. No. 198-199. P. 151-171.
CALATAYUD SALOM. A. (2002): “Self-evaluation culture, philosopher’s stone of quality in education”. Magazine: Educators. No. 204. Pages 357-375.
CALATAYUD SALOM. A. (1999): “Student participation in the evaluation process”. Magazine Educators. No. 190-191.