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Education Blog



26 October, 2016

Aside from peer- assessment, self-assessment can also be used.


The ability to be a realistic judge of one’s own performance.


  • Gives timely and effective feedback and enables quick assessment of student learning.
  • Allows instructors to understand and provide quick feedback on learning.
  • Enhances academic integrity through student self-reporting of learning progress.
  • Promotes the skills of reflective practice and self-monitoring.
  • Improves self-directed learning.
  • Increases student motivation.
  • Improves satisfaction from participating in a collaborative learning environment.
  • Helps students develop a range of personal, transferrable skills to meet the expectations of future employers.

Integrating self-assessment

  • Determine which assignments and criteria are to be assessed.
  • State expectations and clear criteria for the task; this can be done with arubric.
  • Motivate students by framing the assignment as a chance to reflect objectively on their work, determine how this work aligns with the assignment criteria, and determine ways for improvement.
  • Give students a chance to agree upon and take ownership of the assessment criteria.
  • Draw attention to the inner dialogue that people engage in as they produce a piece of work. You can model this by talking out loud as you solve a problem, or by explaining the types of decisions you had to think about and make as you moved along through a project.

Some Self-Assessment Tasks
Assignment cover sheet (Svinicki & McKeachie, 2011)

  • Ask students to submit a cover sheet with their assignment.
  • On the cover sheet, students should respond self-assessment prompts (for example):
  • What is strong, or what went well with this assignment? Provide examples.
  • What do you think is weak about this assignment?

Small Feedback Groups

  • Give students with feedback on an assignment.
  • Have students work in pairs or small groups.
  • Have them or orally explain and discuss the feedback they received.

What to consider 

  • The difference between self-assessment and self-grading will need clarification.
  • The process of effective self-assessment will need instruction and sufficient time for students to learn.
  • Students are used to a system where they have little or no input in how they are evaluated, and are often unaware of assessment criteria.
  • Students will want to know how much self-assessed assignments will count toward their final grade in the course.
  • Integrating self-assessment can encourage students to get involved with the material more deeply.
  • Self-assessment assignments can take more time.
  • Research shows that students can be more stringent in their self-assessment than the instructor.
  • Traditional, instructor assessment can result in “backwash” where the assessment determines what and how students learn more than the curriculum.
  • Upper-level, science-oriented courses are more appropriate for self-assessment