Sometimes it’s not just students’ conceptual understandings or skills that we assess as primary teachers. Sometimes it’s valuable to assess effort and independence too. Teachers might use judgments of effort and/or independence as a tool for reflection with students, or include it as a part of the grade given to a task. I’ve used a five-point scale (A-E) because this is what is required by the Australian Curriculum.

Effort

Effort in this case is defined as the amount of time and level of attention given to completing a task.

A – Student / I gave a substantial effort, devoting extra time and giving full attention to completion of the task.

B – Student / I gave a good effort, devoting time and giving attention to completion of the task.

C – Student / I gave adequate effort, giving enough time and attention to completion of the task.

D – Student / I gave minimal effort to completion of the task.

E – Student / I gave little effort to completion of the task. I did not give enough time and attention to the task.

Independence

Independence in this case is defined largely by the level of assistance the student required or requested when completing a task. Remember that students may still be working independently when collaborating in a group, if they are not seeking assistance from other groups or the teacher.

A – Student / I received no assistance in the completion of the task. Clarification of the task was sought when necessary. Student / I worked independently.

B – Student / I received little assistance in the completion of the task. Assistance with the task was sought when necessary. Student / I worked mostly independently.

C – Student / I received some assistance in the completion of the task. Assistance was given to help student / me communicate student’s / my own ideas.

D – Student / I received some assistance in the completion of the task. Assistance was given to help student / me generate student’s / my ideas.

E – Student / I received much assistance in the completion of the task. Assistance was given to student / me to generate and communicate student’s/ my ideas.

What do you think of the idea of assessing effort and independence?

Are my criteria useful for assessing effort and independence?

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