The ability to be a realistic judge of one’s own performance.
- Provides timely and effective feedback and allows for quick assessment of student learning.
- Allows instructors to understand and provide quick feedback on learning.
- Promotes academic integrity through student self-reporting of learning progress.
- Promotes the skills of reflective practice and self-monitoring.
- Develops 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.
- Identify which assignments and criteria are to be assessed.
- Articulate expectations and clear criteria for the task; this can be accomplished with a rubric.
- Motivate students by framing the assignment as an opportunity to reflect objectively on their work, determine how this work aligns with the assignment criteria, and determine ways for improvement.
- Provide an opportunity for students 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)
- Require 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
- Provide 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.
- The difference between self-assessment and self-grading will need clarification.
- The process of effective self-assessment will require 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 assessed, 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.
- Incorporating self-assessment can motivate students to engage 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 better suited for self-assessment
Structures for Self-Assessment, The Foundation for Critical Thinking
Helping Students Self-Assess Their Learning, Georgia State University Center for Teaching and Learning
Student Self-Assessment, Duquesne University Center for Teaching Excellence
Andrade, H., and Du, Y. (2007). Student responses to criteria-referenced self-assessment. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 32 (2), 159–181.
Andrade, H. and Valtcheva, A. (2009). Promoting Learning and Achievement Through Self-Assessment. Theory Into Practice, 48, 12-19.
Berdrow, I. and Evers, F.T. (2011). Bases of Competence: A Framework for Facilitating Reflective Learner-Centered Educational Environments. Journal of Management Education, 35(3), 406-427.
Fei, S.M., Lu, G.D. and Shi, Y.D. (2007). Using Multi-Mode Assessments to Engage Engineering Students in Their Learning Experience. European Journal of Engineering Education, 32 (2), 219-226.
McDonald, B. (2010). Improving Learning Through Meta Assessment. Active Learning in Higher Education, 11 (2), 119-129.
Sitzman, T., Ely, K., Brown, K.G., Bauer, K.N. (2010). Self-Assessment of Knowledge: A Cognitive Learning or Affective Measure. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 9 (2), 169-191.
Svinicki, M. and McKeachie, W.J. (2011). McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers. (13th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Stevens, D and Levi, A. (2005). Introduction to Rubrics. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing. (Brief overview may be accessed at http://styluspub.com/resources/introductiontorubrics.aspx)