June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
New Engineering Educators
11.1166.1 - 11.1166.9
Student Self-Assessment: How Can It Be Used to Improve Instruction? Introduction
A significant change to the culture of higher education is a broad-based, long-term focus on assessment of student achievement, course and teaching effectiveness, and overall program quality. The increased importance placed on assessment is evidenced by the recent US government appointment of a higher education commission charged with examining whether standardized testing should be expanded into universities and colleges to prove that students are learning and to facilitate comparisons of universities with respect to the quality of education they deliver.1 While individual instructors have always had to be concerned with student assessment and processes for improving instruction, the scope of both assessment and instructor involvement with assessment has expanded. Instructors typically review not only students enrolled in their courses but also the courses they teach. However, large-scale assessments (e.g., program effectiveness) are more often the realm of administrators. Increasingly, instructors are asked to be involved with assessment of overall program quality, both for institutional accountability and for accreditation. Thus, it is important for freshman faculty to be familiar with a variety of assessment techniques as they begin their careers in higher education.
Student self-assessment is a technique that can be used together with other techniques to comprise an assessment effort. Student self-assessment refers to a student rating his/her own achievement of skills or knowledge. If new engineering educators encounter this technique as part of a program assessment approach, or if they wish to use it to help evaluate students or their class effectiveness, then an understanding of what it is, how it is developed, and why it is useful is imperative.
This paper examines factors that impact the effective use of student self-reports of learning achievement for improving curricula and programs. Areas to be addressed include the following.
• How can faculty effectively participate in a student self-assessment process? Are there advantages that accrue to the student when the educator uses this technique? • What factors impact the validity of implementing this technique? Under what conditions and in what situations is it appropriate to use student self-assessment scores? • An example of institutional use of student self-assessment is presented. The example includes a description of how an instrument was designed and how it is being administered. The development of the items is discussed as well as the development of the measurement scale. Limited data indicating how faculty expectations, as indicated by their responses to the instrument, compare to student responses. Attention is given to how student self-assessment results might be used to improve an instructional program.
Faculty participation in student self-assessment processes
A new engineering educator may be asked to participate in an evaluation process that includes student self-assessment for evaluation and validation of programs. The use of student self-reports of learning in this context is increasing as consideration is given to monetary and time costs of
Miertschin, S., & Goodson, C., & Faulkenberry, L., & Stewart, B. (2006, June), Student Self Assessment: Can It Be Used To Improve Instruction? Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/1273
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