‘Writing “I” Makes Me Ill’:
Assessment and Self Assessment
Marnie Hughes-Warrington
Ako Aotearoa
1 December 2010
Assessment Policy
• Shift towards criterion based assessment
• Emphasis on ‘authentic’ assessment
• Recognition of early, formative assessment
• ‘There is no point’
– Students don’t collect their work
– Students ignore my feedback
– Students only care about the grade
You want the truth? I was stunned when I first read the
question. You want to know my view? Writing ‘I’
makes me ill. I keep thinking that Mrs [name
omitted], my year 12 teacher, who is a self
confessed axe murderer of essays will come and
get me.
Matt, Essay 1 Self Assessment, HIST115
World history is not just a sequence of events, but a web of
interactions that continue and yet change and grow in complexity as
new levels of interaction are added. Our role as historians is to
interact with this past, so that we can take an active role in the
Jennifer, Essay 1, HIST115
Learning from the past, understanding reasons for why situations arose
and events occurred. Educating society on how to avoid repeating, or
ways to improve when it arises again (year 3)
Become an active member of society as opposed to a passive viewer. It
develops ideas of social justice (year 1)
Restructure of class systems, hierarchy and values. World revolution
(year 1)
we haven’t studied this yet
Self assessment
Students are given the same rubric, to self assess, and open ended
In your comments, it would be helpful for you to note
– How, if at all, your understanding of the topic has changed as a
result of doing this essay
– the things you have done well
– the skills and ideas you wish to develop further
– Strategies you might use to develop those skills or ideas
How your work demonstrates a response to marker commenta
Can be modified for more numerically-based subjects
Historicising learning and teaching
To be honest with you, when I sat down to write this paper on the big
bang theory, I had to do a lot to stop myself from crying. Science at
school was humiliating for me, I felt so stupid. History was my subject,
not science. But I’ve done it, and although I wouldn’t say it was
brilliant, I think I can hold my own in a conversation in this topic.
Beth, essay 1 self assessment
Teachers have always told me that I am crap at essay writing. I don’t
believe that any more, because I can see that I am getting better little
by little.
Monica, synoptic paper self assessment
I’m an American student abroad and it has been challenging to
understand what a lecture, a tutorial and an essay are here. Do you
think my writing is sloppy?
John, Essay 1 Self Assessment, HIST115
I have only just came into the country three years ago and am still
overwhelmed by the idea of writing an argument.
Nyah, Essay 2 Self Assessment, HIST115
‘Too Many Captain Cooks’ isn’t history. Captain Cook didn’t
fight the devil 1 million years ago. Getting dates and
chronology right is essential for history. It’s just a quirky story,
the kind anthropologists love.
James, Weekly Report, HIST359
This is hard and draining: where is God in here? This
is not my language.
Mwango, Essay 1 Self Assessment, HIST115
Why did I choose to write about gravity in
world history? My family feels the weight
of the past.
Rubel, Synoptic Paper Self Assessment,
Arguments that ‘belong’ to students
I wanted to open this entry by complaining that
you keep pulling the rug from under me. I now
realise that I’m the one that is doing the pulling,
because I can see that world histories can be
written differently
David, HIST359 reflective journal
Reliance to existing knowledge actually made my brain more stupid
and dull, however subtle it was. Therefore, I decided to stop asking for
answers from someone other than myself, because all the knowledge
in the world is fundamentally not mine. I don’t want to think that the
origins of gender inequality has nothing to do with myself. I am part of
the problem because I didn’t know there was a problem.
Ji Yeon, HIST115 essay 2
Identifying the origins of human history is like looking for the humanity
in Shakespeare’s Caliban: you have to look beyond external
appearances. I did and I was quite moved by what I saw, especially
Neanderthal burials
Beth, HIST115 essay 2 self assessment
When I first tried to teach world history last year, it was a complete
flop. I was really disappointed, because I worked really hard on
preparing the lessons. When you showed us those different world
maps at the start of semester… I saw my experience in a new way. I
realised that I hadn’t stopped to think about how my students see the
world, to start from where they are instead of where I am or think
they should be. I rewrote the lessons, and it was brilliant. The
classes buzzed. The Head Teacher has asked me to include two
special needs students in the class next time, and I can’t wait.
Lisa, Report on Implementation of Assessment Task 2, MHPG912
World Histories
First Rankings
reading articles and journals
talking to academics in class
essay writing
talking to students in class
working with primary materials
conversations with people w/ different views
film and television
talking to students outside class
talking to academics outside class
attending a lecture
getting feedback on work
giving a presentation
working online
watching movies and television
looking at photographs
visiting museums
reading books about the past
participating in group study
ALTC, N=1455
Presence of the Past, N=900

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