Self-Checking Strategies for Students
Educators are always seeking ways to encourage students to take more responsibility for their own learning. One simple and effective step is to teach students techniques for monitoring their own learning. Students can be taught techniques for assessing and monitoring their understanding of course content, progress on assignments, and quality of work submitted. Ultimately, these strategies increase student confidence in their own learning. They can also have an indirect outcome: reducing your workload. This week, we offer a series of tips on helping students develop self-checking strategies.
This Week's Tips
Teach Students Self-Check Strategies To Improve Quality and Reduce Errors (Monday)
Self-checking strategies need to be directly taught, practiced, and integrated into instruction. First, discuss the value of self-checking strategies. Next, introduce and model the strategy. Provide guided practice with easy material and give feedback. Lastly, encourage application and transfer of the skill to a new situation. Teach students to monitor their own practice on homework assignments.
Use Paraphrasing to Self-Check Comprehension (Tuesday)
Teach paraphrasing as a text comprehension strategy. Paraphrasing stimulates active involvement with text by helping students determine if they comprehend a reading assignment. Instruct students to read a paragraph or section of the text. Ask them to identify and record the main idea of the section in a journal or learning log. They should also list supporting details under the main idea. If the student has difficulty paraphrasing, he or she should be directed to reread the passage. Eventually, students can use a silent paraphrasing strategy with the texts that they read.
Distribute Rubrics for Students to Check Work (Wednesday)
Create and distribute an assessment rubric at the beginning of an assignment. On the assignment due date, have students check their work against the rubric. Be sure you have extra copies of the rubric on hand for those students who no longer have it. Give them the option to make a final revision based on their self-assessment. This process helps students learn how to build revisions into their process while improving the overall quality of work that you must grade.
Use Peer Review (Thursday)
Make time for a peer review session in class to review work. It is essential to provide clear instructions, objectives, and guidelines for reviewing activities. When possible, model an effective peer review session using a pair of students in the class. Make certain students know the importance of objectivity in the review process. Peer review can be used in virtually any classroom where assignments are given.
Encourage Time and Task Management Techniques for Self-Monitoring (Friday)
Teach students how to monitor the completion of long-range assignments with a task management log. Initially, students should define each task and delineate the steps required to complete a long-range project. Set completion date goals for the various sub-tasks that will allow them to easily meet the assignment due date. Make suggestions that will help students effectively deal with situations in which they miss the deadlines they have set for themselves. Suggest that students use a task management log to monitor each phase of their work.