The piece of work I was interested in was a normal practical write up in Science. I had planned the assessment around a pre-existing task, using Biggs SOLO taxonomy to establish levels of success and the strategies the students had used in learning. Each level had specific content and process criteria. During the lesson the students were given a chance to self assess their work against these criteria. The Purpose of doing this was two fold: Firstly, to introduce them to Biggs SOLO taxonomy and secondly two highlight the idea that education is an interactive process and not something that is done to them. The fifteen minutes of lesson time dedicated to this activity allowed me to talk and help mark five students work, leaving them all with at least one "Next Step". I enjoyed these converstations as the dialogue with Year 7's was purely about learning,with one student stating " I can see what you mean when you say join your ideas together". This echo's what a Year 12 Biologist said earlier in the week " I can see how your answer is better than mine". This is the beauty of the SOLO Taxonomy, identified by an eleven and sixteen year old within minutes of using it ( as a 23 year old, it took me alot longer), it makes the quality of their work VISIBLE.
This visibility is (even) apparent to the teacher marking a book. A obdurate task at the best of time, having this clarity made marking efficacious, so much so I marked 18 books in 45 minutes, all being identified at a SOLO level, next steps suggested and scietific vocabulary problems attended to. I also felt I had time to use another of my favoured assessment strategies.