Self assessment involves learners taking responsibility for monitoring and making judgements about aspects of their own learning. It can be broken down into two stages:

1. Identifying standards and/or criteria to apply to an understanding of learning area content
2. Making judgements about the extent to which they have met these criteria and standards

Self assessment can be a way of assessing the product of learning but it is a learning process in itself. It is a way of improving learning by passing on skills of evaluation and critical judgement to learners. In this sense the term 'self evaluation' may be more appropriate since it is about developing students' ability to make judgements about the quality of material.

Thus self assessment can be both formative and summative. For instance:


  • to encourage students to reflect on their own work, so that they may improve it for the future
  • to motivate students during the course by giving them a sense of ownership and empowerment
  • to equip students for future autonomous action in col)texts where they will need their own internalised standards


  • to provide a mark that will contribute to the one which will be officially recorded as the final mark for the work
  • to provide the mark which will be officially recorded as the final mark for the work

Self assessment gives the learners the opportunity to reflect on what they do. Good use can be made of logs and diaries to record the learner's thoughts on the quality of their work.

Things to consider

  • In order to assess themselves effectively learners need to be taught assessment skills;
  • Learners should be taught how to critically judge and analyse their work;
  • Gender and culture will affect the way in which students assess themselves.

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