Student-centered assessment is an approach to assessment whereby assessment is a collective endeavor in which teacher and students collaboratively give students the opportunity to demonstrate who they are, what they have learned, how they think, and what they understand.
Data is abundant in 21st-century schools, yet much of this data is not well-used. Student-centered assessment and feedback should direct a teacher's instructional practices, help shape future student learning, allow the teacher to communicate with individual students about their progress, and ensure students feel ownership over their own learning and growth.
When teachers provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their learning and understanding in a variety of ways, they are able to share individualized feedback and create personalized learning plans for their students that reflect each student's mastery and future trajectory.
Why it's important
School districts regularly look to data to help shape policy and guide reform through a macro lens. In doing so, the student is lost. Students learn differently from one another, and this should be reflected in the way that lessons are created, student understanding is assessed, feedback is given, and data is analyzed and used for future planning.
At BetterLesson, we believe teaching is about understanding what a student needs and how he needs it and about capitalizing on a student's strengths while working with her to fill her gaps. By using assessments to identify and target what students need most in their learning, we can more successfully ensure each student is provided with learning opportunities that support their individual growth.
What success looks like
Student understanding is assessed in a variety of ways and at an appropriate level for the individual student
Students are provided with regular, timely, actionable feedback
Teachers use student assessment and feedback to guide instruction
Students receive regular feedback on their own progress and feel a sense of ownership over their own learning and growth
BetterLesson Blog Posts:
Roehm, Leigh Ann. The Power of Feedback: Helping to Make the Invisible Visible for Students. December 4, 2018.
Bankston, Krystal. How to Create a Classroom Focused on Student-Centered Assessment and Feedback. November 27, 2018.
Bankston, Krystal. The Power of Data: Instructional Strategies to Help You Create a Data-Driven Classroom. October 30, 2018.
Lu, Tina. It Takes a Whole Community: Advancing from 23% to 85% of Students Showing Growth. September 4, 2018.
Belknap, Cheryl. Two Effective Ways To Wrap Up Your School Year. June 19, 2018.
Rice, Lindsay. Why My Students and I Are Addicted To Exit Tickets. May 15, 2018.
Centre for Teaching Excellence. "Learner centred-assessment." University of Waterloo.
Dougherty, Chrys. "How School District Leaders Can Support the Use of Data to Improve Teaching and Learning." ACT Research and Policy. 2015.
Forman, Michelle L. "The Use of Assessment to Improve Instruction." Harvard Graduate School of Education. 2005.
Jobs for the Future. "Student-centered Assessment Resources." 2013.
Lockwood, Meghan; Dillman, Mary; Boudett, Kathryn Parker. "R&D: Using data wisely at the system level." Phi Delta Kappan 99 (1), 25-30. 2017.
Miller, Andrew. "Using Assessment to Create Student-Centered Learning." Edutopia. 2015.
Rich, John D. et al. "Creating Learner-Centered Assessment Strategies for Promoting Greater Student Retention and Class Participation." Frontiers in Psychology 5:595. 2014
Students at the Center. "Student-Centered Assessment Resources."