1. Effects of assessment tools
There are two types of self-assessment tools: rubrics and scripts, which still include assessment criteria in those tools. Rubrics are designed to analyze the final product of an activity, and it is given to students when they start to work. Scripts are designed to analyze the process being followed throughout a task, but it also can be used to analyze the final outcome.
From the relative experiments, we get some ideas and perspectives about effects of self-assessment tools. On the one hand, the use of self-assessment tools could promote a high level of self-regulation. The use of scripts in the learning process helps students to understand the contents of the task deeply, set an appropriate goal, practice adequate strategies, monitor their behavior and emotion, and have positive motivation for the task and task goal. Those will assist students to become a good self-regulator. On the other hand, the use of self-assessment tools could maintain students’ learning. The rubrics make students clearly understand how final outcome looks like, so that they can assess their work based on the criteria or standards displayed in the rubric, and then grade their performance by themselves. Both rubrics and scripts enhance students to master the knowledge and information of the task in their performance and activities.
Actually, the role of teachers should not be ignored in the process of applying self-assessment tools. We can see that teachers could promote students’ self-regulation and learning in their self-assessment. So some interventions come from teachers are significant. Firstly, teachers would give students some instructions for their assessment. For example, provide rubrics and scripts, those two self-assessment tools, to students; tell them how to use rubrics and scripts in their learning and task performance correctly, and how to regulate their behavior and motivation in the self-assessment. The instructions mentioned above will aid self-assessment come into efficacy. Secondly, teachers’ feedback in the process of activity is still important for students’ self-assessment. Teachers can give students’ feedback when they set a goal so that they have the right recognition for their task; teachers can give student’s feedback when they use the rubrics at the beginning of the task to help them understand the final outcome of the tasks precisely; teachers can give students’ feedback when they use the scripts in their task performance, which make them grasp the key issues of the task, have positive motivation, use the appropriate strategies, keep good emotion even if they meet difficulties. Meanwhile, teachers’ feedback also helps students to know the reasons for their successes and failure in the task engagement; it is an effective pattern to improve students’ self-efficacy.
In brief, we need to use the two types of self-assessment tools, rubrics and scripts, to promote students’ self-regulation and learning; simultaneously, teachers’ interventions on self-assessment not only assist rubrics and scripts have positive effect in task activity, but also promote students’ self-efficacy in their learning process.
2. Strategies and young students
Many researches indicate that students at primary school age can benefit from self-regulation strategies, very young students (six –nine years old) can benefit more from learning skills interventions than older students and adults. Young students are just like a piece of paper, they are likely to accept some instructions and strategies which assist them to solve problems in their learning process in order to learn and understand better, meanwhile, promote their interesting and motivation for learning and exploring knowledge.
Researchers divided strategies into different types: cognitive strategies, metacognitive strategies, and motivational strategies. So what kinds of strategies are most important and effective for young students? In my opinion, I arrange them into following orders:
First of all, motivational strategies are foundation of applying of other strategies. Young students just begin their learning life, so they cannot explain their success and failure in an accurate way. The wrong explanation of failure could cause gloomy depression, doubt of self-efficacy, and lack of interesting of learning even turn down. Whereas, the mistaken explanation of success could cause young students overestimate their ability and knowledge level so that they cannot study diligently and actively. Therefore, the casual attribution strategies are vital for their emotion and recognition of their behavior and outcome, which help them to foster the motivation of learning. Meanwhile, self-efficacy beliefs will be affected and promoted in this process. In addition, action control strategies focus cognitive activities on assisting arousal of goal-directed action which help them to solve the problems; feedback about their task and learning would make them clear about the engagement of current task and how to improve their following learning.
Then, metacognitive strategies are also important for young students. They need more metacognitive knowledge to enrich and promote their understanding about knowledge, information, and memory so as to interpret task effectively. Metacognitive skills include strategies about planning, monitoring, evaluation. For young students, those three items should be trained altogether. They are so young that they do not have any idea about how to make a plan, how to monitor their behavior and select strategies, and how to evaluate their outcome. Hence, the training of metacognitive strategies is not only profitable to increase their metacognitive knowledge, but also have good habits and abilities for their self-regulation.
Finally, cognitive strategies still have positive effects for young students. But because of their age and limited knowledge, some cognitive strategies cannot have a role as expected, for instance, organization strategies. Elaboration strategies could combine new knowledge into current cognitive structure, which is a good pattern for young students to memorize and comprehend what they learned deeply. Repetition strategies would transfer the information learned into the long-term memory on the basis of gaining the meaning of the content. Young students need more instruction and training about problem solving strategies in the learning environment and learning process.
We should construct accurate viewpoints and choice about strategies training for young students. It is obvious that not all of strategies are suitable for them, so we need arrange the implement and training of strategies in a right order.