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Assessment within PBL

Monday 27 August 2018, by JMC

Assessment of learners is done in four main ways:

1. Self-assessment

Learners are supported to evaluate their own learning and develop ways to critically analyse their own learning. This is the most important element of assessment as it develops learners’ self-regulation and metacognition, what some refer to as “learning to learn”.

2. Peer-to-peer assessment

Learners work together to evaluate each other.

2 children peer-assessing their artwork

3. Formative (ongoing) assessment by teachers

The primary purpose of assessment is to serve as feedback in order to improve the learning process and remove barriers to further progress. Thus formative assessment is favoured over summative assessment, which serves primarily to judge or rank learners.

4. Formative assessment by experts

A further benefit of learning based on real-world issues is the opportunity to involve experts. By accessing their knowledge and skills, it can help both learners to develop and teachers to facilitate projects beyond their own level of knowledge. For example, a project to develop renewable energy transport might invite academics, scientists and representatives from clean energy companies to both teach and assess learners’ work, as well as advise teachers on where they might be able to guide the project next.

In addition to the above, the fact that PBL allows a flexible mix of guidance and instruction means that it can easily be tailored to cover the learning goals mandated by existing curricula or exam regimes, making it compatible with summative assessment through tests or exams.