How to Assess Students in Your After-School Program

If your after-school program empowers students to become better learners, it can be a challenge to find meaningful ways to assess student learning.

Empowering students to become better learners is at the core of empowerment.
To assess student learning, measure meaningful benchmarks.

If you feel a little unsure about what to assess, how do you start? You get specific.

To assess student learning, you need to determine the specific learning points that teachers need to observe in their students. Here’s our take on the most important skills and abilities students need in order to learn well.

How do you define success? Get Specific — Step by Step.

A successful learner has certain skills and abilities that are well developed — we call this skillset the Principles of Empowerment. We’ve organized these into three areas:

Relationship to Self
Relationship to Staff
Skills Development

Categorizing abilities that are elusive to define is essential if you want to assess them. Following is a brief sketch of a few of the skills and abilities we consider to be the Principles of Empowerment.

Relationship to Self

These are the personal qualities and skills a student needs to be able to learn well. Self-confidence is high on the list — as is her level of motivation. Another consideration is how well she does under pressure — the pressure of her own frustration.

Relationship to Staff

How well does the student listen? Better yet, does she understand what she’s hearing? Can she communicate her ideas and her needs, or is she frustrated but unable to explain why?

Skills Development

Does the student stay safe with what she already knows or is she willing to try new steps? Is she able to build on prior learning? How does she relate to the equipment and materials in the classroom — does she treat them carefully yet with a sense of curiosity and freedom?

Are you developing capable self-learners?

Whether you’re nodding in agreement or thinking you’d like to get deeper into this way of assessing your students, we hope you’ll give our evaluation tool a try. SETS: Student Evaluation & Tracking System is actually a misnomer. It not only tracks and assesses students; it’s also a teacher training tool. That’s because each time you use it you’ll become more focused on your students’ specific learning needs.

Teaching can be a never-ending learning experience. We hope you’ll give SETS a try to see how it can add to your learning journey!

Want a free tour? Just contact us, we’ll be glad to hear from you.