Back to School: Students Evaluating Learning

These strategies were adapted from a tool devised by a program in Alberta, Canada, that works with more than 500 schools to provide assessment tools to teachers. They focus on engaging students as learning evaluators, and can be useful in many different education settings.

  • Have students create criteria for classroom success. Students can help determine criteria for success and design rubrics that reflect those expectations. They can use student-friendly language and share examples that reflect their understanding to their peers. They can also devise criteria for lesson plans and assess teacher performance.
  • Constantly initiate student-teacher communication. Communication between teachers and students can be used to provide continual feedback to students and teachers. Open, honest discussions between students and teachers can foster continuous self-assessment and feedback between students and teachers, administrators, and school staff.
  • Facilitate school-wide reflection and goal-setting. Students can reflect on their school’s progress in education reform, on learning environments, what comes next or changing goals. They can create self, peer, teacher, class, and school assessments to evaluate performance and then suggest what works, what doesn’t and what’s missing. Students can also connect classroom evaluations to school reform efforts in their school, district, state, or nation.

Adapted from Hogg, R. (2001). How to Develop and Use Performance Assessments in the Classroom. Edmonton, AB: Alberta Assessment Consortium. Learn more by visiting SoundOut’s Students as Learning Evaluators resource page.

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

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