Self Assessment

Self assessment is where students assess their own performance. This can involve automated activities which provide general feedback on progress or completion (online quizzes, adaptive self-assessment modules), or a subjective process where students judge the quality of their work and understanding against set criteria in order to identify strengths and weaknesses (reflective activities, self-assessment in group work, review questions).

Educational benefits

  • promotes the skills of reflective practice and self-monitoring in terms of students personal progress and development
  • students identify strengths as well as gaps or weaknesses in understanding and capability, which assists in directing them to areas requiring further study or practice
  • enables students to consider how to improve their academic performance, providing awareness of and responsibility for their own learning
  • encourages student-centred learning by shifting the focus from satisfying someone else to engaging in the learning process for self-benefit
  • enables development of critical evaluation skills
  • can provide a quick self-checkĀ  for reassurance that learning goals are being achieved (in the case of quizzes and computer generated tasks)


In terms of subjective tasks

  • can be time consuming to plan and to prepare students for the process of self-assessment
  • students may feel ill-equipped to make judgements and may need encouragement and practice to effectively engage in the process
  • it can be challenging to ensure criteria are applied objectively and consistently and students may over-evaluate their own performance

In terms of quizzes

  • construction of quiz banks can be time consuming
  • questions that test higher order cognition are underutilized
  • guessing remains an option, which may provide a perception of greater understanding than is the case

In terms of adaptive self-assessment

  • can be time consuming to map and create

Author: Chones, Source: Shutterstock (UNE)


  • plan criteria for assessment, brief students and provide guidance to ensure students understand the process and requirements
  • include students in the process of developing assessment criteria to promote greater understanding of tasks and standards - provide examples to illustrate different levels of work
  • using a rubric clearly presents expectations by mapping standards against the criteria
  • moderation is advised if the self- assessment contributes to the final grade
  • ensure feedback is provided to enable students to improve performance
  • keep quizzes short (10-15 questions) to ensure engagement and randomise questions from a quiz bank to create different versions for later review
  • the addition of feedback in quizzes benefits students in reviewing their own progress

Last modified: Friday, 12 February 2016, 11:59 AM