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MarylandFine Arts Education Instructional Toolkit
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Maryland Fine Arts Education
Developing Fine Arts Assessments
Integrating Fine Arts Across the Curriculum
Assessment Outcomes and Implications

Use of Student Self-Reflection in Assessment Tasks

Typically a component of portfolio assessment, the opportunity to present a brief self-reflection—either orally or in writing—can enhance what we know about student learning in other types of assessments, including performance-based tasks and constructed response items. Reflection that accompanies student work does more than document the nature and goals of a given activity or assignment.  It provides insight into the “thinking behind the thinking,” and often gives teachers important clues as to what they might address next, instead of, or in addition to, previous instruction.   

For example, incorporating a student reflection form as part of each activity in a thematically linked integrated assessment task can provide teachers insight into the extent of students’ understanding and “take-away” learning, not only for each activity, but for the task as a whole.  Such insight could drive subsequent instruction and, ultimately, student learning and achievement.

View Example:

Theatre Thematically Linked Integrated Item Set

Although students need to have opportunities to learn how to make appropriate and useful observations about their own work and the work of others, it may not always be appropriate to score such activities, depending on the developmental level of the class and the purpose of the classroom assessment.  While there are myriad ways student reflections may be used, possibilities include the following:

  • Have students select one dimension or trait on their reflection form and write a brief explanation of what they might do to improve their performance.
  • Use a completed student reflection form as a tool for student conferences and provide students with the opportunity to expand orally on how or why they evaluated their work as they did.
  • Pair or group students based on their evaluations so that those who were more proficient in meeting the task requirements would work with those demonstrating less proficiency to identify and address specific concerns.

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