RISKing Success

Happy hump day - of course hump day means that there is not long until our students are leaving to write their exams. With that comes plenty of practice tests.

I wonder what effect the results of these tests have on students mindset and motivation especially those that continually get Not Achieved ?

Stiggins (2007) suggests we should look at the effect of assessment from the students point of view. from his research he notes that:

For students who are succeeding
For students who are Not Achieving
Assessment Results
Reinforce success
Reinforce failure
Which makes them feel
Hopeful & optimistic
They think
I am in control
I can’t do this
Feedback helps me
Feedback is more criticism
They become more likely to
Take initiative
Avoid doing anything
Keep going when the going gets hard
Simply give up
Which leads to
Curiosity & confidence
Frustration & Fear
Failing to take action
Adapted from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may07/vol64/num08/Assessment-Through-the-Student's-Eyes.aspx

By classifying their errors  the students can better understand how to improve and hence shift their thinking.
Several years ago I was introduced to the RISK strategy for students to self analyse their errors. This may have originated from the work of Stiggins. I thought the RISK strategy would be particularly relevant at this time for our students who will be preparing for the MCAT in September.

Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
How do I RISK my work?

1. Take the paper to be RISKed  and a coloured pen

2. Write a big and bold R, I,  S or K next to any mistakes using the RiSK acronym

3. Ask myself?
  • How many silly mistakes did I make?
  • What causes me to mis-read questions?
  • What would my grade be if I eliminated all my silly mistakes and reading errors ?
  • Who am I going to get to help me with the K's ?
4.  Fix the silly mistakes and regrade the paper

Reducing silly mistakes is something students can easily do for themselves  once they are aware of how often & where they make silly mistakes. 
The class could jointly come up with strategies to reduce silly mistakes.
Questions they grade with a K they will need help with.

Another way to use the RISK strategy could be to create a table of the skills within a test, a column for right/wrong and a column for RIS or K. This will let them quickly see a pattern.

 ✔ ✗
R I S or K


Simplify with indices

last years post around the MCAT  has other revision ideas

What strategies do you use to help students improve ?

Stiggins, R. & Fullan, Michael. (2014). Revolutionize assessment : Empower students, inspire learning.


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