Engaging Students in
Kevin Bailey, Ed.D.
Teachers begin with the questions:
What is it I want my students to know and be
able to do?
How will I know when they know it?
How will they know when they know it?
Effective assessment answers those
What are some ways
your students show
what they have learned?
Our aim is to involve students as far as
possible in the analysis and
presentation of their own work.
If the teacher is the only person giving
feedback, the balance is wrong, and
the students become powerless, with
no stake in their learning.
Feedback is often the spark that
Dr. Robert Marzano
Students can feel helpless or
incompetent when they don’t
know what their teacher wants
them to do
—anxiety sets in and gets in the
way of learning.
A portfolio is a collection of student work
gathered for a particular purpose that exhibits to
the student and others the student’s efforts,
progress or achievement in one or more areas.
NREL, 1997, p.6
Collection of works in progress.
Students choose from this collection pieces they
want to develop further.
These are typically stored in the classroom—
THEY DO NOT GO HOME! (unless copies
“…Grading and reporting should reflect
not just the final results but also how
students got there. “
Guskey, 1994, p. 17
A selection of personal writing that the student
has taken through the writing process.
The collection demonstrates the student’s best
written work in a variety of genres.
A collection of a student’s best work
The selection is typically made by the teacher
and the student over time and across disciplines.
It may include projects, writing, speeches, art, or
A collection of artifacts representing the
professional experience and achievement of the
This portfolio is often used when a candidate is
seeking employment or recognition in the field.
A collection of artifacts that represent
achievement of the prescribed standard.
This portfolio is used to document proficiency
in program, course, or state standards.
Types of learning criteria usually used for
grading and reporting fall into three
Talk about how the portfolios in your school are
currently being used: product, process, or
Or how would you envision portfolios being
used in your school: product, process, or
What do you want students to know and be able
to do with regard to portfolios?
Is your current plan the best plan?
Communicating assessment criteria
discussing the criteria with learners using
terms that they can understand,
providing examples of how the criteria can
be met in practice, and
engaging learners in peer and self-
Assessment Reform Group, 2002
One way to achieve clarity and
student engagement is through the use
Rubrics are a set of criteria used to evaluate a
student’s performance in a given area. Rubrics
consist of a fixed measurement scale and a list of
criteria that describe the characteristics or
products for each score point.
Arter and McTighe, 2001, p.181.
“Begin with the end in mind.”
Rubrics spell out in advance the specific expectations
for the task.
Consistency in scoring
“The clarity provided by well defined criteria
assists us in reducing subjective judgments when
evaluating student work.”
Arter and McTighe, p.10
What is expected?
What are our standards?
What does good performance look like?
What do I want to accomplish?
Improve student learning
“If we want to provide clear learning goals for
students are remove the “mystery” of what it
takes to succeed, it is essential that students
know the performance criteria.”
Arter and McTighe, p. 12.
Kinds of Rubrics
Gives a single score or rating for an entire product or performance
based on an overall impression of a student’s work
—Divides a product or performance into essential traits or
dimensions so they can be judged separately.
Arter and McTighe, p. 18.
Self assessment by pupils,
far from being a luxury,
is in fact an essential component
of formative assessment.
Black and Wiliam, 1998
Note: insert definition of self-
assessment and different forms
What is it
How to use it
Connections with rubrics, portfolios,
Create checklist from a state writing
rubric for student self assessment.
Checklists show how a student could
use the criteria from the rubric to
recognize problem areas and work
A student-led conference is a conversation led
by the student about their ongoing work.
Student led conferences can take place with…
Student Led Writing Conference
Teacher conferences provide students
with a model for self assessing their
writing. Students learn a protocol to
follow in these conferences.
Protocol for Student
led Teacher Conference
What are you working on today?
Where are you in the process?
What will you do next?
It is important to give students language and a
framework to support their conversations.
Students might be given a framework which
1) How did this piece impact you?
2) What questions do you have about the writing?
3) What advice might you offer?
Pointing and Questioning
Student Stems for pointing:
I liked when you…
It grabbed my attention…
Something like that happened to me…
It touched my heart..
Student stems for questioning:
I was wondering about…
What did it look like when…
How did it make it feel…
What were you thinking when…
The purpose of a parent conference is to
inform the parent of the progress that the
student is making in their work.
Student Led Parent Conference
Informs the parent
Provides specific evidence
Allows the students to reflect on their own
A student led parent conference can showcase any
selected body of student work.
If portfolios are in use, a portfolio party enables
students to take the lead in providing evidence of
their progress while enjoying the opportunity for
personal reflection and growth.
Formats of Student-Led
Individual or Student-Involved
Presentation or Showcase
Stuff from Bailey book and Kathy Briscoe
Making Student-Led Conferences
Work for You
Discuss what kind of conferences you have in
your school district.
What might work in your district?
What would you have to do to get there?