Assessment Wrappers - This Month's Metacognition Teaching Resource Spotlight

Each month we take a closer look at one of the metacognition or self-regulated learning teaching resource that we offer. The aim of self-regulated learning is to empower students to take control of their own learning-processes; metacognition is the cognitive aspect of self-regulated learning and emphasises the awareness, understanding & regulation of thought.

Reading these monthly posts can contribute to your continued professional development and give you new ideas for classroom practice: why not try a new resource each month and, slowly but surely, become a master of metacognition! Perhaps you’ll be inspired to make a new resource to use with your students or, if you’d like to save time, you might download and try one of the resources from our site.

Our teaching resources are aimed at teachers of students aged 11-16 and can be used by all teachers: regardless of their subject-specialism. They emphasise student-reflection, metacognition and self-regulation.

This month we’re looking at Assessment Wrappers. Links to order and download the resource can be found at the bottom of the article or you can click here.


What Are Assessment Wrappers?

‘Assessment wrappers’ (also known as ‘Exam Wrappers’ or ‘Cognitive Wrappers’) foster student reflection before and after they take assessments. They are ideal for when students are doing formative assessments such as practice exam papers. Our set of assessment wrappers contains five different versions of double-sided printable worksheets.


What Are Assessment Wrappers For?

The purpose of assessment wrappers is to encourage metacognitive awareness, knowledge and regulation and encourage students to engage in self-regulation in relation to assessment work. Put simply: their purpose is to make students think deeply about how they are preparing for exams and how they can improve performance moving forward.

Exam wrappers typically have two phases: the first encourages students to evaluate different aspects of their preparedness and readiness for the assessment whilst the second encourages evaluation of performance with the setting of future targets for improvement as a form of metacognitive regulation.


How Does One Use Assessment Wrappers?

Simply give students the exam wrapper before they are set any substantial assessment (such as a practice exam paper) and allow them five minutes before and after the exam in order to complete the two different sections.


How Does It Foster Metacognition and Self-Regulated Learning?

Metacognition is the awareness of or understanding of thought. It is the cognitive aspect of self-regulated learning and should consist of a continuous cycle of planning, monitoring, evaluation and regulation.

Assessment wrappers encourage students to reflect on these different phases of metacognition. Typically (though not necessarily) in the form of worksheets that might contains, in the first section for example:

· Student checklists referring to their readiness for the assessment

· Student self-rating activities about various aspects of their preparedness for the assessment

· Student reflection questions about what they did to prepare for the assessment

And in the second section:

· Reflections on how the assessment went

· Reflection questions designed to help student identify problems and solutions with their approach

· Target setting opportunities to improve future performance


Which Teachers Can Use Them?

Assessment wrappers can be used by teachers of any subject: our set of assessment wrappers is designed to be used with students aged 13-18 since, in many countries, these are the ages where students are most likely to be preparing for public examinations.

To Which Students Are Assessment Wrappers Most Suited?

Whilst assessment wrappers are beneficial to all students, they have been shown to be particularly impactful for students who are either: not expressing their learning well in assessments, struggling with special educational needs, or from economically disadvantages backgrounds (‘Pupil Premium Students’).


How Else Does Using Assessment Wrappers Benefit Students?

Assessment wrappers can help foster students’ organisational skills, increase student motivation. Regular engagement with them will help students develop the metacognitive skills that will serve them as life-long learners: giving them the ability to analyse and evaluate their performance in academic assessments and identify ways of improving future attempts.

The use of assessment wrappers reinforces as growth mindset since it emphasises how performance in assessments is not determined by fixed, unchangeable or essential personal qualities and characteristics but by choices, habits, and hard-work.


Where Can I Download some Assessment Wrappers?

This resource can be ordered and downloaded by clicking here. Membership Plan holders can download it freely via the ‘Member’s Area’ by clicking here. You can browse our other metacognition and self-regulated learning-resources here.

You can also use the site menu to navigate and download our large collection of metacognition & self-regulated learning teaching resources. Don’t forget to check-out the ‘Free Downloads’ section of the site!