No one can teach you how to play the guitar.

But they can help you learn.

This is a summary from a chapter from Dylan Williams’ book ‘Embedded Formative Assessment’.

A good way to activate students as owners of their own learning is:

a. Student self-assessment: there is evidence to suggest that students can indeed assess themselves quite accurately, when the stakes are low (for example, for homework).

b. self-regulated learning: the learner is able to coordinate cognitive resources, emotions, and actions in the service of his learning goals. For example, do learners have the necessary knowledge and skills to reach their goals? This is closely linked to:

metacognition: knowing what one knows, what one can do, and what ones knows about their own cognitive abilities.

motivation: there needs to be a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for students to regulate their own learning

Some practical tips on how to combine the above in the classroom:

  1. traffic lights: the teachers shares the learning outcomes and success criteria and the students have to assess whether they have managed to achieve them (green: confident/ yellow: ambivalence\ red: not achieved).
  2. learning logs: students are asked to reflect on their learning by using logs (Today i learnt/ i was surprised by/ one thing i would like the teacher to explain further was/ the main thing i want to look into further is…)
  3. red discs: i am giving an updated version here. teachers can devise a technique which students can use to indicate in the classroom that they don’t understand. this might help weaker students who often feel less confident to interrupt the teacher while they explain things.

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