I have been experimenting this year with something that is not overly revolutionary but still very important especially in my context. At the beginning of the year, I would let the kids know what they are going to be assessed on and when the piece of work is due. We would then collaboratively write the criteria sheet together and they would decide on what was important from the task and what they should be marked on. Of course I would lead them in the direction that I wanted it to go.
Then as the year has progressed, I have actually empowered the students to write their own criteria sheets. It is interesting to see what the students think is important and how they interpret the task. Some of the language that the students use is hilarious. One of my boys for his role play for an A made a statement 'The absolute maximum amount of creativity is used and no more is possible' He was very pleased with this statement but it did make me giggle.
But in all seriousness, when using the kids criteria sheets to mark their work, it is an easy process. They have usually made it so clear in their statements that there is no grey areas. It has been a pleasing experiment to undertake with my students and one that I will be continuing on with in the future. But how can we foster this creativity and engagement with students more easily? Is ACARA going to bring an end to my experiment in student lead negotiation of criteria?