​​​What is effective learner self-assessment?

For formative assessment to be productive, pupils should be trained in self assessment so that they can understand the main purposes of their learning and thereby grasp what they need to do to achieve.​ The practitioner can assist learners to reflect on what they have learned, how they learned that knowledge or skill and what they need to learn next by prompting some questions that will challenge the learners’ thinking about learning."
Black P. & Wiliam D. (1998). Inside the black box: raising standards through classroom assessment. Phi Delta Kappan, 80(2), ​

The practitioner can assist learners to reflect on what they have learned, how they learned that knowledge or skill and what they need to learn next by prompting some questions that will challenge the learners’ thinking about learning.

Prompts that can assist learners to reflect on their learning

These questions are useful prompts to assist learners to self-assess.

  • ​What did I learn today?
  • How do I know I learnt this?
  • What am I confused about?
  • How can I clarify this?
  • What do I want to know more about?
  • How am I going to find out more?
  • What am I going to work on next?
  • I was surprised by…
  • I was challenged by…
  • I was excited when I discovered…

As the learner is working through a learning activity they might assess their progress internally. If the learner can discuss or write down some of their self-assessments, the verbalisation and clarification of ideas that comes from interaction with others in oral or written form assists learners to remember their learning and their successful learning strategies.

Some useful self-assessment tools

  • Digital portfolio, learning reflection journal
  • Discussion, whole-class or small-group
  • Self-evaluation form​
  • Self-assessment checklists and inventories
  • Teacher-student interviews