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"Before crinkling the academic, we must crinate the human being"

During the last CréaCamp, the workshop in which I participated allowed me to develop a more current and adapted vision of evaluation, which must be at the service of learning and not the other way around.

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These wise words, spoken by Catherine michaud during the last CréaCamp, made me question the way I evaluated my students.

Through discussions with colleagues, our wonderful facilitators and myself, the workshop in which I participated allowed me to develop a more current and relevant vision of evaluation, which must be at the service of the learning and not the other way around. It is not by focusing on the academic that we obtain results, but by placing the student in the right place in his success. 

"If the teaching model has to change, so does the evaluation model"

We see more and more models of autonomous learning, by projects. We see flexible furniture appear in our classrooms and our teaching teaches us how to swing with the tulip chairs as well. Our students watch videos, search for information on their own, develop their own lecture notes. In short, convincing practices place our students at the center of their learning, the teacher acts more as a guide than as a teacher.It is when we want to assess our students that there is a break between the teaching model and the function of assessment. We are asked to isolate a skill, to do paper-based evaluations and to respect a framework with dates, reports, notes. 

It is therefore imperative to question ourselves. Are the exams I have chosen useful, necessary? Have my students learned? Am I asking too much, not enough? How do I know that? What will I do with the students who haven't learned? What freedom does the compulsory framework offer me?

As my father used to say to me: “the road is long and rocky, but the sun is shining on the horizon”. Asking ourselves questions as a professional can only make us grow. Several avenues can be taken in order to help our students to become the main actors in the film that is their schooling. 

How to get there?

As I mentioned, we must be aware that it is by changing our practices little by little that we can achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves, and not by going there drastically.  

First of all, feedback is a great way to involve the student in their learning. Indeed, when we come back to an exercise with him, we allow him to see what worked, what was more difficult and thus improve what was less successful. Our role is then to guide him in how to do it. Feedback can be used in the classroom directly or remotely using applications such as FlipGrid or Notability on which you can record your voice (a tutorial is placed in a hyperlink). The goal is also to keep records of what we work with our young people in order to verify that our evaluations faithfully represent the learning achieved. The more feedback we give, the better we know our groups and the more we can adapt our teaching!

Self-assessment of our students can also be a very relevant tool for better understanding the way our young people perceive themselves and their learning. Here again, we have a guiding role to play, because it is necessary to set up self-assessment grids in order to help them target their strengths and their challenges. Here are some from elsewhere an example created during the CréaCamp Bellechasse which can be used in all subjects. You will see that it is built from positive words and also from a picture of batteries. In fact, I use this image in class so that the students associate the learning related to the course objective (stated at the start of the period) with a color. The next class, I ask them to remember the color from the last class and increase by one color using tools presented in class.   

In short, the important thing in questioning evaluation is to be consistent with the teacher that you are and that you aspire to be. What happens in our classroom must be in harmony with our values, our principles and our intentions. This is not an opportunity to play a role or to aspire to what we are not, but to establish new practices with rigor and structure and above all, being aware that it is possible to be wrong. Trust your students, teach them to be the main players in their success.

Good luck in your questioning and in your new attempts!

In addition, Carrefour education offers you its file on the evaluation of learning.

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About the Author

Laurie Couture
Laurie Couture
A high school French teacher and contributor to various blogs, Laurie Couture is passionate about writing and for the innovative aspect of education: how can you change your ways of doing things to improve your method? She loves to discover, discuss and develop about convincing practices related to technologies. Using digital technology, she aspires to set up projects and documents responding to current trends and proposing new approaches.

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