Evaluate to learn: the 7 major challenges of evaluation

Evaluate to learn

Evaluate to learn. What a challenge! Today’s article is intended to let you know what are some of the keys for me to get closer to what is meant by evaluation. I will try to address in this post what is meant by evaluating, what are its challenges, as well as some of the most common mistakes that are made in a process as complex as it is fascinating.

As teachers, we must understand evaluation as an opportunity for our students to learn and do so in a conscious and meaningful way, without relinquishing their autonomy. So, I hope that the reading of this article will help you to reflect on some keys to what is meant by evaluation.

Evaluate to learn: Keys to the evaluation

Evaluate to learn

The writing of this article would not have been possible without reading other articles and books related to what is meant by evaluation. The success of a teaching methodology and the results obtained by the students is based not so much on how new knowledge is made known, but on evaluation, understood as a set of activities that make it possible to identify errors, understand their causes and make decisions to overcome them.

A quote that underlies a very interesting definition about what is meant by evaluation. Because, as Perrenaud affirms, learning always involves the overcoming of errors and obstacles.

Thus, when we talk about evaluation, we must not only refer to the results, that is, to what they learn, but also to how they learn. In fact, Neus Sanmartí insists on his book, I think in a very correct way, that it is a mistake to accept the evaluation by separating the teaching processes on the one hand and, on the other hand, the learning process.

Thus, one of the great challenges at the time of evaluation lies in the fact that, as teachers, too often we are more aware of transmitting a certain knowledge, concept or information, for example, than not understanding why a student does not understands such knowledge, concept or information.

When evaluating is making decisions. 7 Keys to consider

Evaluate to learn

From the book by Neus Sanmartí, I would like to compile some of the keys that are worth taking into account when approaching the challenge of evaluating to learn.

Are these:

  1. Evaluation as an engine of learning

What should we consider?

What is taught?

How is it taught?

What is learned?

How you learn

  1. Evaluate is regular

Evaluate to learn

What should we consider?

Evaluating is not qualifying or, not just qualifying.

It is as important to regulate the difficulties and mistakes of the students as their learning process.

The error is as useful as it is necessary.

About the importance of error as a key element of learning, you may find it useful to read the article titled 5 Ways to teach to reward the error among your students.

  1. Learn to self-evaluate

What should we consider?

What are the learning objectives?

What will think strategies I use for my students to learn?

What strategies of action will I apply to respond to the tasks I propose to my students?

What evaluation criteria will I establish?

Evaluate to learn

  1. The evaluation belongs to everyone

What should we ask?

Why should the teacher always be responsible for detecting the successes and mistakes in the learning process?

How much responsibility does each student have in their own improvement of their learning?

Why not give tools so that it is the students themselves who discover their strengths and weaknesses?

Why not encourage other colleagues to participate in the evaluation process of their classmates?

Regarding this idea, I think it is fundamental to systematically introduce metacognition in the classroom. If you want to know more about metacognition, here is this link.

  1. The evaluation that only qualifies does not motivate

What should we consider?

The evaluation that only qualifies is an evaluation that does not encourage the student’s desire to learn.

The evaluation that only qualifies does not promote the culture of the effort because it does not give the students tools to discover their mistakes and overcome them

  1. External evaluation should be understood as useful and necessary

What prejudice should we banish?

The external evaluation must be understood as a tool that is capable of guiding the evaluation process.

  1. The evaluation must be diversified

Evaluate to learn

What should we consider?

The objective evaluation vs. the subjective evaluation.

The evaluation must promote above all the autonomy of the students

The evaluation instruments must be multiple and varied (open questions, forms, concept maps, portfolios …)

Evaluate to learn. In conclusion.

This article is not a point of arrival, but a starting point. A roadmap in which many walks immersed and learning more I believe from the mistakes that from the own successes.

But it is precisely from the error, and also from the study and the reflection, the form in which we must confront the evaluation. Because evaluation is a process, a journey in which we are all invited. And like any trip, what we should try is to enjoy it without giving up the many learnings we will learn in their journey. And I, as always, count on you.

Iwona Walker

Iwona Walker is a passionate educator, dedicated to transforming the landscape of learning through innovation and creativity. With a background in educational psychology and a fervent belief in the power of technology to enhance education, Iwona has spent years exploring ways to make learning engaging, personalized, and accessible to all.

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