Self-assessment provides students with the opportunity for guided self-reflection relating to a student’s own performance in a summative assessment. The self-reflection helps students understand their strengths and areas of development. Students are provided with an assessment front sheet with assessment details and a list of the assessment criteria. There is space for the student to comment on each of the assessment criteria and give themselves an overall mark and grade as well as explore how they have experienced writing the assignment. In addition, there are spaces for both student and tutor overall comments. If a student’s mark is more than 10% from the tutor’s mark, a one-to-one meeting is recommended, and further support provided to encourage growth and development of the student’s work.


From a pedagogical perspective, our courses foster a humanistic experiential learning environment, underpinned by the andragogical model of Friere (1996) through use of different reflective exercises of which student self-grading is one example. Generally, in terms of teaching theory, we have found that the implementation of experiential learning techniques can be integral to some student learning styles. Therefore, it is important to consistently consider how to make learning an engaging experience for students, even in terms of assignment feedback. This fits directly with a more person-centred approach to teaching across courses at Warwick, wherein the creation and facilitation of a nurturing environment in which to learn is key. This relational way of teaching and being should therefore filter across our teaching, support and in giving of feedback to students.

Measurable Benefits

  • Students engage in critical analysis of their own skills and therefore develop a better understanding of the level of those skills.
  • Students can more easily identify which skills need development and seek more targeted support.
  • The confidence of the student grows as they recognise their ability.
  • This method provides another level of feedback to the students without requiring more time from the tutor.

How it Works

  1. Provide the students with the 20 point marking scale for undergraduate modules
  2. Produce and provide the students with a front sheet for the assessment
  3. Spend some time introducing the concept and explaining the marking descriptors and assessment criteria so that students have a good understanding of the various levels – this is especially important for overseas students where there may be cultural differences to consider
  4. Alongside the regular marking process, review the student’s self-assessment
  5. Organise a one-to-one to discuss how the student can be best supported moving forward if the tutor mark and student mark differ by more than 10%

Practical Example

You can find two example front sheets of this pedagogy below.

Self-Assessment Front Sheet Example 1

Self-Assessment Front Sheet Example 2

Individual Perspective

In counselling training, the relationship has been found to be central to teaching efficacy, something which I find develops best with engaging with students individually throughout the course. Furthermore, diversity and inclusivity can be explored through student reflection, ensuring that the teaching provides adequate consideration to differing learning styles. I acknowledge that some students may be disadvantaged due to a collection of diversity considerations therefore providing the students with an opportunity to explore these individual differences in their student assessment comments is an effective way that we are able to check we are meeting students’ needs on an ongoing basis.

Additional Resources

  • Barkham, J. and Elender, F. (1995) Applying Person-centred principles to teaching large classes. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 23(2), pp.179-197.
  • Biggs, J. and Tang, C. (2010) Applying Constructive Alignment to Outcomes-based Teaching and Learning. Training material for “quality teaching for learning in higher education” workshop for master trainers. Kuala Lumpur: Ministry of Higher Education.
  • Friere, P. (1996). Politics and Education. Sao Paolo: Siglo Veintiuno Editores.
  • Rogers, C. R., Lyon, H and Tausch, R. (2013). On Becoming an Effective Teacher: Person-Centred Teaching, psychology, philosophy and dialogues with Carl R. Rogers and Harold Lyon. London: Routledge.
  • Smith, V. J., (2011). It’s the Relationship that Matters: A qualitative analysis of the role of tutor-student relationship in counselling training. Counselling Psychology Quarterly 24(3), pp. 233-246.