When Students Self-Assess, Motivation and Achievement Improve

Filed Under: Quick Tips

Teaching students to self-assess leads to more engagement, improved student motivation, and higher achievement. Research by McMillan and Heam (2008) showed that student self-assessment promotes intrinsic motivation, higher goal motivation, and more meaningful learning. It has a powerful impact on both classroom assessment and summative testing for accountability.

To be effective, self-assessment should not just evaluate a student’s thinking. Students should also be taught to identify strategies that improve their understanding and skills. Teachers can help by:

  • Establishing clear, specific learning targets
  • Giving students opportunities to evaluate their own performance and make adjustments prior to graded evaluation
  • Encouraging reflection to identify areas of need and create new goals
  • Teaching students to apply criteria to their work, as shown in our photo example.

Reference for This Quick Tip

McMillan, J.H. & Heam, J. (2008). Student self-assessment: The key to stronger student motivation and higher achievement. Educational Horizons: 87(1), 40-49.