Over the past few years schools in our board have been focusing on a learning goals/success criteria model for assessment.
I like that learning goals and success criteria are co-created with students. The process gives students some ownership of their learning. It empowers students to know exactly how their progress is being measured. I also like that learning goals and success criteria are dynamic lists that evolve as learning evolves. A changing list shows that as you learn more, perhaps so does your understanding of what makes work good.
The problem is that when it comes to assessment, there’s a real danger that these lists become checklists instead of conversation tools that articulate “what’s great” and “what’s next”.
Last week students in my class had to learn a little about photography to help them with a literacy assignment that we’re working on. Together we read about taking good photos, and we watched some basic photography tutorials. Then we talked A LOT about what makes a photo attractive to the human eye.
Such beautifully articulated feedback.
I think that the conversational element around success criteria really needs to be emphasized. If we’re not talking lists through with students, then there’s a real danger of success criteria lists becoming YES or NO/PASS or FAIL checklists.