Self evaluation is important at any stage in your life. In today’s world, most organizations use self evaluation for any project and services they have in place. Furthermore, teachers are now actively encouraging their pupils to self evaluate. Self evaluation is an important part of being committed to lifelong learning – the understanding that you will never complete your learning journey and grab every opportunity to learn new skills. More and more workplaces now encourage their staff to be committed to lifelong learning, offering learning skills through formal and informal pathways. Self evaluation is particularly important when choosing learning through informal pathways, as formal assessments are less likely to take place in such settings.
How to Perform Self Evaluation
Anything you do, be it in business or work or your personal life, can go through a circular process. The process starts with you developing an idea. Following this, you should consult with those who will be influenced by your idea to think of the best way to implement this. You then implement your idea. You then spend some time monitoring how well it is going and then consult again. Following this consultation, your developed ideas will change and the process starts again with you consulting about proposed changes, implementing the changes, monitoring the changes, consulting again, and so on.
A practical example is for example the decision to enroll on a new course. If you are thinking of starting a new course, this means you have an end goal in mind. The end goal could be a degree, for example. Hence, your starting idea is the degree. You should then consult by speaking to friends and families and colleges or universities about what courses are best suited to achieve this degree. Once you have done this, you would enroll on your course.
Courses generally offer examinations, which is a great way to self evaluate as well as receive feedback from your tutors on how well you are performing. When you do receive feedback, ensure you read this properly and think of how to implement their suggestions in the rest of your learning career. When you reach the end of your specific course, you re-evaluate whether you are still on track towards achieving your end goal, or whether you need to revise your end goal. From that, you can choose your next course or plan of action, and so on.
Some of the questions you could, for example, ask yourself practically are:
- How much effort did you put into the assignment and how long did it take you?
- Where do you think you did very well and where do you think you could do better?
- What could you do to improve?
- What are the most important things you have learned from the assignment?
Why Self Evaluation Is Important
The idea behind self evaluation is that our judgment of what we think we are doing and what we actually are doing is not always the same. This is why it is so important to perform regular self evaluation. Did you know, for example, that fighter pilots, politicians and top athletes perform self evaluation? They do this by reviewing video footage of their performance and identifying where they could have improved.
One way of performing self evaluation is by mirroring others. If you are out, for example, you could objectively look around and see if anyone else seems to behave the same way you normally do. Observe what this behavior really is, and how others around that person respond to the behavior. This will then show you how people respond to you and could give you some valuable advice on how to improve your behavior.
How Self Evaluation Contributes to the Learning Journey of Pupils of All Ages
As a student, regardless of your age, the formula for achievement is the sum of goal and effort. Once you know your achievements, you can self evaluate, leading to self judgment, leading to self reaction. This process and that is the true importance of self evaluation, in turn will lead to self confidence, by demonstrating how well you have done. Self confidence, in turn leads to new goals and more effort, and so the circle is repeated.
How to Teach Self Evaluation in Four Stages
As a teacher, you should firstly explain the importance of self evaluation and how it can benefit a learning journey. Once this has been achieved, you can teach the process of self evaluation in four stages.
Firstly, involve your students into determining what specifics will define good performance. Tests have proven that students – or employees for that matter, as this can be implemented in the work place – perform better when they have a sense of fairness, achieved by being involved in agreeing what performance is expected.
Secondly, teach your students how these specifics and criteria can be applied to their learning or performance. This can be achieved by providing examples. Ensure your examples fit into every different learning style and remember that some people prefer hearing to seeing, for example, so have both written examples and video examples. Again, this is fully applicable to the workplace.
Following this, provide regular feedback. Perception is an important concept and the perception of the criteria that were determined earlier will still differ. Ensure you have examples once again. Furthermore, be open to the possibility that the perception of your student may be better than yours, in which case you need to be able to self evaluate your own teaching methods and possibly adapt.
Lastly, teach your pupils how to develop action plans – self evaluation is only useful if it leads to more, hence the data your students gather from self evaluating should be used to implement new goals.
As said, all of these steps can and should be implemented in the work place. It has been scientifically proven that involvement increases performance, benefiting you as an organization, as well as personal development, benefiting the individual worker. For an organization to grow, the knowledge and skills of its workforce also needs to grow and one sure way to achieve this is through self evaluation.
The importance of self evaluation, in conclusion, is that it allows you to further your own learning journey and career by allowing you to reflect on your own performance from an outside perspective, enabling you to really learn what your strengths and weaknesses are. This means you will be able to see what points you have that you can further cultivate and grow, and which points within you need further attention. This will allow you to further your career and stop you from being stuck in a rut.
As a student, self evaluation is an important tool to help you stay on track with your learning goals, as well as adapt towards different paths if necessary. Being able to self evaluate will also help you in future, as most organizations now use processes of self evaluation. This means that being able to recognize the importance of self evaluation and being able to implement these steps is a very marketable skill that you can use to sell yourself to an organization once you start your career.