Self-assessment activities help students to be a realistic judge of their own performance and to improve their work. 

Why Use Self-Assessment? 

  • Promotes the skills of reflective practice and self-monitoring. 
  • Promotes academic integrity through student self-reporting of learning progress. 
  • Develops self-directed learning. 
  • Increases student motivation. 
  • Helps students develop a range of personal, transferrable skills. 

Considerations for Using Self-Assessment 

  • 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. 

Getting Started with Self-Assessment 

  • Identify which assignments and criteria are to be assessed. 
  • Articulate expectations and clear criteria for the task. This can be accomplished with a rubric. You may also ask students to complete a checklist before turning in an assignment. 
  • 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. 
  • Consider using an “exam wrapper” or “assignment wrapper.” These short worksheets ask students to reflect on their performance on the exam or assignment, how they studied or prepared, and what they might do differently in the future. Examples of exam and homework wrappers can be found through Carnegie Mellon University’s Eberly Center.