Practising self-reflection

Credit: Waag

Competencies like creativity, communication, collaboration, or critical thinking can be difficult to measure or assess, as they are quite subjective. However, these competencies are important in science learning outside the classroom, as they are related to self-directed learning, which in turn is a critical component of non-formal education. So, how can one assess if non-formal learners possess and apply these skills and competencies when undertaking science learning activities outside the classroom? A standardised test could be an option but constructing one for such subjective experiences might be difficult to make and it may even be undesirable, as it could be seen as excluding learners and promoting a punitive notion about skills. Therefore, within the scope of SySTEM 2020, three self-evaluative tools have been produced:

  1. Self-Reflection Tool – a lightweight and flexible tool that can be used by practitioners
  2. Self-Evaluation Tool – provides more in-depth results and, as a result, is more suited within the context of a research-practice partnership
  3. Diagnostic Credentialisation Tool – a diagnostic tool to help organisations decide if credentials are suitable for use in their context.

These tools were designed as research instruments in the project to examine individual learning ecologies and evaluate non-formal science learning programmes. However, they also have application beyond the scope of SySTEM 2020 for other non-formal science learning organisations and practitioners as they can help you understand how your activities, and the skills involved in them, are being perceived and practised by your young learners.

The toolkit below presents an introduction to self-assessment and is aimed at practitioners of non-formal science learning who may be interested in incorporating self-assessment and/or credentialisation into their practice.

Practising self-evaluation guide

Self evaluation tools


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Evangelos Kapros


Science Gallery Dublin at Trinity College Dublin


SySTEM 2020



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