Assessment at The Element High School

The most important goal of assessment is for each student to have a clear understanding of their strengths, their challenges, and how to improve themselves. It is essential that students are provided with a learning environment that constructively assists them in knowing themselves as a learner. As such, assessment is used for learning and as learning. What this means is that assessment is used as an opportunity for the faculty to communicate feedback to promote improvement, but also as a key opportunity for the student to be coached in the valuable process of independent self-assessment, self-monitoring of progress, and goal setting. Through this process, students become independent and autonomous learners.

Assessment is embedded through each unit and guided by a variety of modes including: direct instruction, discussion, seminar, individual and group research, oral presentations, problem solving, peer evaluation, as well as formal evaluations and feedback.

Success criteria are described in specific terms at the beginning of an assignment so that students can understand the criteria used to assess their learning and to develop an understanding for what evidence of learning they will need to demonstrate. The success criteria are designed so that students can recognize the purpose of the assigned work. Often the criteria are provided in the form of a rubric. Oral and written feedback is used so that students receive guidance specific to their own strengths and challenges. This one-on-one dialogue and reporting provides assessment that is meaningful and guided by their personal abilities and potential. 

Assessments for, of and as learning are provided by the faculty regularly and in a timely fashion to provide students with meaningful feedback that enables them to self-reflect, incorporate suggestions and see a progression in their skills.  The student’s advisor serves as a mentor to help the student make reflections and incorporate strategies from the evaluations they receive across their courses.  As adolescents strive to become independent, it is through reflections on the evaluations and feedback they receive that they come to understand themselves as learners and recognize the strategies that help them to access the content more deeply.