Assessment for Learning in History: Maximizing Error Analysis to bridge students’ learning gaps in answering Source-Based Case Study Questions, pp. 10 of 13

A significant point worth highlighting is that there is no need for high, medium and low tiers in differentiation. The differentiation in the activities shown above takes two different tiers instead of all the levels available in a typical set of SBCS levels of response marking. It not only prevents differentiation fatigue for the students but more importantly, it should be tailored to suit the expectations of the teacher. The teacher’s expectations will be the basis of a productive differentiated instruction learning environment. It is wiser to start at the standard or benchmark level because “if teachers start lower or higher than the standard performance, we tend to distort our expectations, losing sight of the learning outcomes or benchmarks for that particular skill being taught to students” (Wormeli, 2006).

4. Self-reflection

After going through the various activities, students then move on to the “Evaluating my own answer” in the self-reflection section (see Figure 7) to deepen their understanding of their own current abilities and learning gaps in each SBCS question. Two simple questions of “What went well?” and “Next Steps for me?” require students to pause, examine and evaluate the good points or strategies used in their own answers, as well as what they need to do to reach the next level of performance. A good example of an effective student’s self-reflection response would be one that reveals the ability to internalize his/her learning gaps without the teacher having to identify the mistake for the student. Additional “Free Space” (see Figure 7) is added for students to scribble, add pointers or their own comments, and even draw to create their own style of learning or key takeaways. This “Free Space” is deliberately created to address students’ common complaint of not having enough space to write.

Figure 7.  A sample of a Secondary 4 Express student’s self-reflection


Evaluating my own answer: [ 4 /5m]

What went well?


I was able to provide a well-explained inference that addressed the question and my evidence supports it. I also gave the intended outcome that was specific to the context of the audience.


Next Steps for me?


I must have relevant contextual knowledge that links back to the inference given and the context of that time.


(Note: The self-regulatory feedback written on this student’s script was “Spot the missing component in your answer.”)


Free Space (to scribble pointers):




An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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