self-assessment and peer assessment

Beverly Hills Girls High School
Supporting Independent Learning
Lorraine White (Highly Accomplished Teacher)
SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PEER ASSESSMENT: Supporting Independent Learning
L White
Why should we use peer assessment and self-assessment strategies in the
Peer and self assessment are powerful tools that contribute significantly to the learning process.
They can be used to monitor learning and set goals for future learning, the result being conscious
learners who are able to take ownership of their learning.
What the researchers say...
Linda Darling-Hammond (2005)
“...self-critique can increase students’ responsibility for their own learning and make the
relationship between teacher and student more collaborative.”
“...students who participated in self-evaluation became more interested in the criteria and
substantive feedback than in their grade per se.”
“... students also reported that they had to be more honest about their own work as well as being
fair with other students, and they had to be prepared to defend their opinions in terms of the
“Their purpose is not to give a grade, but to gain insight that can be used to further learning.”
Assessment Reform Group (1999)
“Current thinking about learning acknowledges that learners must ultimately be responsible for
their learning since no one else can do it for them.”
Clarke, Timperley, Hattie (2009)
“As children work to meet their own goals, they are much more focused and achieve success
more quickly. This success builds their confidence and they are then much more willing to
attempt more challenging targets.”
Personal reflections...
SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PEER ASSESSMENT: Supporting Independent Learning
L White
The advantages of peer assessment and self-assessment
“Peer assessment and self-assessment encourages students to attribute
success to factors in their control.” (Petty 2009)
Peer assessment and self-assessment
 give further information in order to plan teaching and learning to meeting individual
student needs
 enable the targeting of realistic outcomes for students
 provide an insight into the individual learning styles of students
 result in collaborative learning where the responsibility for assessment is being shared
 enable students to become more aware of their strengths, weaknesses and needs
 teaches students that mistakes are avoidable and that improvement is possible
 improve students ability to understand the nature of good work and how marks are
gained and lost
 students become more aware of the learning goals and outcomes
 acknowledge their role as an active participant in the assessment process
 develop reflective learners who take responsibility for their learning and develop lifelong
learning skills
 help students identify the gap between their present skills and their learning goals
 enhance the development of self esteem and a realistic perception of self worth
 benefits the student receiving the feedback and the student conducting the assessment
 encourages student autonomy and higher order thinking skills
 enable teachers to work collaboratively with their students toward appropriate and
attainable outcomes
 students become more engaged in their learning
 gain information to evaluate teaching program
 Parents see the benefits of making assessment integral to learning and enable them to
work collaboratively with their child toward achieving appropriate and attainable
“The most important advantage of self-assessment and peer assessment is that it makes
students realise that success or failure depends not on talent, luck or ability, but on
practice, effort and using the right strategies. This is motivating and empowering.” (Petty
Personal reflections...
SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PEER ASSESSMENT: Supporting Independent Learning
L White
When should we use peer assessment and self-assessment strategies?
Peer assessment and self-assessment strategies are an integral component of formative
assessment. They should be ongoing and embedded in the teaching program. Strategies can be
informal and respond to student response in class; or pre-planned and more formal in their
“Once learning intentions are established and shared with children, the self-evaluation during and
especially at the end of the lesson should be children’s reflective comments about their learning,
followed by teacher summary, unravelling misconceptions and providing links with future
learning. Times when the class share their work are, in many ways, a waste of opportunity for
self-evaluative thinking.” (Clarke, Hattie 2009)
Some ideas ...
At the beginning of a topic/unit to establish learning goals
To develop a deeper understanding of marking criteria
To check understanding of teacher explanation of a topic/concept
To improve writing and oral skills
To conclude a lesson and link to future learning
To link learning to prior knowledge and experience
To engage students and parents in more meaningful discussion of student learning at
parent/teacher conferences
8. To reflect on group performances
9. To develop own criteria for participation in discussion and group work
10. To assess student performance or presentations, e.g. drama, sport
11. To develop student personal learning plan
Personal reflections...
SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PEER ASSESSMENT: Supporting Independent Learning
L White
How can you facilitate peer assessment and self-assessment in your
“The quality of self-assessment depends on the tools, support and modelling provided by the
teacher, the way in which self-assessment is built into the learning process, the guiding questions
asked and the opportunity to regularly engage in self-assessment.”
“Peer assessment is most effective when it is embedded into the learning unit and the students
are provided with the opportunity to learn from their mistakes in a non threatening
environment.” Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
For peer assessment and self-assessment to be effective, you need to teach the skills first and
provide the necessary tools.
Ensure students know the outcomes being assessed
Teach the marking criteria
Model responses
Begin with spoof assessment
Allow time for reflection and to set new goals
Involve students in the process, e.g. developing their own marking criteria
Ensure students are aware of the rules for peer assessment
Use appropriate language to create a non threatening environment and
a culture of trust
“I’m really pleased you’ve noticed you are stuck. I need to find out what
you need and then you will be able to learn something new.”
Preparing the Classroom Environment
 Display prompts in the classroom
 Use a class gallery to display student work samples
 Create a graffiti wall
 Consider seating arrangements to accommodate peer assessment
 Provide necessary tools and equipment, e.g. video camera
 Display an A – Z chart where students can add words during the lesson which are
connected to the learning to show their understanding.
Personal reflections...
SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PEER ASSESSMENT: Supporting Independent Learning
L White
Training students to be self-evaluative during whole class sharing
Explain to the class the purpose of the self-evaluation sessions.
During the lesson reinforce the learning outcomes.
Display a range of self-evaluative questions or prompts for the end of the lesson.
To begin with, simply model possible answers to show students how to answer the
question and that all students experience difficulties at times.
After the training period of modelling answers, choose one question for ends of lessons,
and link it explicitly with the learning intention.
Allow a short period of thinking time (15 – 30 seconds) after giving students a selfevaluative question (heads down).
Use a variety of approaches: whole class responses, paired responses; group responses.
It is not necessary to get students to write their self-evaluations, as their thinking will be
reduced to what is easiest to write.
Examples of self-evaluative questions ...
What did you find difficult when you were learning to ...
What helped you when something became difficult about learning to ...
What did you need more help with about learning to ...
What are you most pleased with about learning to ...
What have you learnt that is new about ...
How would you change this activity for another class/group who were learning to ...
Examples of prompts ...
I’m proud of this because ...
My strength today was ...
The skill I need to work on is ...
I think my biggest improvement has been ...
My next learning goal is ...
I need to find out more about ...
Create three evaluative questions or prompts that you can use at the end of a specific lesson you
will soon teach. Make sure they are linked to the lesson objectives and consider the
developmental stage of the students.
SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PEER ASSESSMENT: Supporting Independent Learning
L White
Developing protocols and rules for peer assessment
For peer assessment to be effective in your classroom, it is important that students are made
aware of the rules for giving feedback to their peers. This will help to create a learning
environment based on trust and mutual respect. You may wish to involve students in the process
of creating the rules or devise your own set of rules. These should then be displayed prominently
in the classroom.
1. Think of five rules that you believe are important to effective peer assessment. Write
them on the list below.
2. Compare your list with that of a partner’s and decide which suggestions are the best five
from the two lists.
The responses can then be used to develop a list of ground rules which can be displayed in
Sample Peer Feedback Protocol
Peer Assessor
Peer assessor
Peer assessor
I want feedback most on ...
(Good news) “You did well on ...”
(bad news)
“I think these parts need to be changed ... because ...”
(Good news) “Some ways you can improve it are ...”
“Can you explain a bit more what you mean about ...”
[reply and clarify]
“I also want feedback on ...”
(Good news) “You did well on ...”
(Bad news)
“I think these parts need to be changed ... because ...”
(Good news) “Some ways you can improve it are ...”
SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PEER ASSESSMENT: Supporting Independent Learning
L White
Best practice –Peer Assessment Strategies
Feedback Strips
Feedback strips are useful for oral presentations or demonstrations. They
can be short and simple and more than one peer can provide the
feedback. The name of the person being observed is written on the strip
and the observer completes the prompts.
Name: ............................................................................
Today you did well on ...
One thing you could work on improving is ...
Next time you could try ...
The pluses, minuses and interesting tool can be used to help students evaluate a piece of writing
or presentation. It encourages students to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the
presentation and to think about the evidence for their decisions.
P(+) plus
M(-) minus
I(?) Interesting
Peer Feedback for writing task/text type
1. Students complete a piece of written work individually and then move into small groups.
2. One student shares their work with the rest of the group who read it silently and take
notes on key points. The teacher should supply appropriate marking criteria to support
the students giving feedback.
3. The students then take turns to give warm feedback. Allow one minute per student.
4. The students then take turns to give cool feedback. Allow one minute per student.
5. The owner of the work is then allowed to respond to the feedback and ask questions for
further clarification if necessary.
6. The process is repeated for each member of the group.
The degree of success of the activity is dependent upon explicitly teaching the text type and
marking criteria first.
SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PEER ASSESSMENT: Supporting Independent Learning
L White
Graphing Student Progress
At regular intervals, ask students to chart their progress and learning. The graph could be
constructed using data from class work, test results, assessment marks or mini class quizzes.
Students can then share their charts with the class, in small groups or in pairs. Students may give
each other reasons and suggestions on why they have improved and what goals they wish to
achieve next. This task allows students to share with each other their successes, but also allows
students to learn from one another through helpful suggestions and advice.
Spoof Assessment
This is a fun activity which you can be used to teach students how to
spot mistakes and correct them. It familiarises them with the marking
criteria and prepares them for evaluating their own and others’ work.
Simply pair students together and give them a spoof piece of writing
with some common errors to begin with. The students work on their
own to find what’s wrong; why it is wrong; and how to do it right. Each
student then explains the errors in their spoof work to their partner,
followed by a discussion of why it’s wrong.
This activity involves the students collaborating to produce a group answer.
1. Students are organised into small groups and are given questions or calculations to do
which they initially work on individually.
2. Students then compare their answers - reasoning, methods, reasoning, and answers. They
discuss and try to agree on the best answer(s) and why they chose that response.
3. You can then give out model answers for comparison.
Testing Learning
Students work in pairs or small groups to create their own questions or tests with a marking
scale. The tests can then be shared with other students. Once completed the creator(s) can mark
the test/quiz and give feedback on how responses could be improved. A number of online sites,
including google docs, can be used by students to create multiple choice quizzes. Smart notebook
software also has various interactive activities that can be used to assess learning, including
multiple choice questions.
A fun version of this is to get students to create a board game where students have to answer
questions correctly to move forward.
Alternatively students can create flashcards to test their partner’s knowledge.
Graphic Organisers
Students create their own notes, concept map or other graphic organiser. They then compare
their work with other students who will make suggestions on how it can be improved. These
improvements can then be made.
SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PEER ASSESSMENT: Supporting Independent Learning
L White
Best practice –Self- Assessment Strategies
K-W-L-H - linking learning to prior knowledge
The K-W-L-H organiser provides students with a framework to explore their prior knowledge on a
topic and consider what they would like to know and learn. This organiser can be used as an
individual or group strategy but is most effective when students are given the opportunity to
reflect individually before sharing with others.
K – Stands for helping students recall what they KNOW about the subject.
W – Stands for helping students determine what they WANT to learn.
L – Stands for helping students identify and reflect upon what they have LEARNT at the end of a
topic or activity.
H – Stands for HOW did we learn it and aids metacognition by assisting students to reflect upon
what they have learnt and how they have learnt it.
What do I
What do I WANT
to find out?
What have I
HOW will I
Traffic Lights
This formative assessment strategy can be used when a teacher is explaining a topic and
wants to check student understanding. At several points during the explanation the
teacher asks students to indicate their level of understanding using the colours of the
traffic lights. Students may raise their hand; nod their head or hold up a coloured card.
Green for complete understanding
Amber for partial understanding
Red for little or no understanding
The teacher is now in a position to re-explain to some students and scaffold the learning in a
different way. The student feels more empowered and is able to ask more questions of the
Feedback Sandwich
Good news
I did really well on ...
Bad news
I think these parts need to be changed because ...
Good news
Some ways I can improve it are ...
SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PEER ASSESSMENT: Supporting Independent Learning
L White
Show me
Thumbs up; thumbs horizontal; thumbs down.
60-second Think
You can use ‘60-second Think’ spontaneously in your classroom at any time. Just ask students to
stop, and have a 60 second think about how their learning is going right now. Make sure you time
the 60 seconds accurately to allow quiet thinking time.
Student generated lists
Top ten things I need to find out about ...
Questions I have about my work ...
Strategies I can use to improve my work ...
Simply by choosing which pieces of their work to include in their portfolio, students are already
self-evaluating. This practice can be extended by asking students to respond to some questions
1. Arrange all your work from most to least effective.
2. After reflecting on your two best pieces of work, answer these questions.
a. What makes this your best (second best) work?
b. How did you go about it?
c. What problems did you encounter?
d. How did you solve them?
e. What goals did you set for yourself?
f. How did you go about meeting these goals?
3. What makes your best work different from your least effective work?
4. What are your future goals?
Concept Mapping
Concept maps are a very effective way of expressing relationships. The
boundary of a concept is expressed in a circle or ellipse, and
interrelations between concepts are expressed by labelled arrows.
They enable teachers to tell at a glance if students have a deep
understanding or are struggling with the content and concepts being
studied. Concept maps aid learning by explicitly integrating new and
old knowledge and students can assess understanding or diagnose
misunderstanding through drawing concept maps.
SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PEER ASSESSMENT: Supporting Independent Learning
L White
SWOT Analysis
This is a simple task that students can use to identify their Strengths (S), Weaknesses (W),
Opportunities (O) and Threats (T). This can be applied during both class time when students are
learning a new topic, or when a student is completing an assessment task.
Strengths: Should focus on areas or skills that they best understand and do well at.
Weaknesses: These are things which the student feels they are not good at or needs extra
help with. This should be the area that the teacher most focuses on.
Opportunities: These may refer to resources which the student can use to improve their
learning and target areas in the Weaknesses section. For example, extra help from the
teacher, resources and websites, peer support etc.
Threats: These may refer to things which will be an obstacle between the student and
their desired goal. Items such as time management, lack of motivation, lack of support
may be included in this section.
Before and After Chart
This strategy is to be used at the end of a task or topic. Students are given a comparison table in which
they will need to identify the things they knew before the start and what they have learnt at the end. This
is a great way for students to understand that they have improved and they have participated in active
Venn Diagrams
An easy type of graphic organiser where one circle represents the ‘know this’ section, another
circle represents the ‘don’t know’ section and the overlapping section represents the ‘confused
about this’ section. This activity is best done after completing a mini topic and before moving
onto something else.
Know this well
Don’t get this yet
Confused about this
SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PEER ASSESSMENT: Supporting Independent Learning
L White
Learning Logs
You can use learning logs or reflective journals, and other simple devices for students to reflect
on their recent work. Learning logs allow students to:
• maintain a record of the processes they go through with their learning
• reflect on what they have been doing
• identify what strategies they are using to support their learning
• identify how they can challenge themselves to deepen their knowledge and understanding.
Students can communicate their thinking, levels of understanding and skills through multiple
representations e.g. pictorial, symbolic and written.
Some students find writing on a blank page ‘daunting’ so it may be useful to have some guiding
questions to reflect on when writing in their learning logs. You may wish to use regular prompts
for the students to respond to such as:
a. This week I have learned ...
b. For next week I am focusing on ...
c. I will know I am getting better when ...
This is a very simple technique which can be used at any time to provide students with the
opportunity to reflect on their learning.
S Strengths
W Weaknesses
(Areas needing
N Next
(Where to next)
Learning Goals
Having students develop and monitor their own learning goals is an important part of selfassessment. These goals may be short term based on a topic or unit of work; or long term based
on a longer period of time. Help the students to set manageable goals by providing prompts or
scaffolding. For short term goals a simple scaffold could be used.
4. .............................................................
3. .............................................................
2. .............................................................
1. .............................................................
SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PEER ASSESSMENT: Supporting Independent Learning
L White
Graphic Organisers
Graphic organisers such as Venn diagrams, fishbone, ladder, KWHL table, and PMI table are
effective self-assessment tools. Some of these will be dealt with individually.
New Goals
Video Performances
This is especially effective for demonstrations or performances. Students record their
performance and compare it to an exemplar model or assess its quality against a given set of
criteria. They then set themselves learning targets for improvement. This can also be easily
adapted to involve peer assessment.
Alternatively students can create an audio file to rehearse for an oral presentation.
Other suggestions ...
SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PEER ASSESSMENT: Supporting Independent Learning
L White
Peer Assessment and Self-Assessment in your Classroom
Step 1: Share examples of peer assessment and self-assessment strategies that you have used in
Step 2: Complete the SWOT analysis of peer assessment and self-assessment strategies as they
have worked up until now.
Step 3: After reading over the peer assessment and self-assessment strategies outlined in this
workshop, identify those strategies that you have not yet used, or not used recently.
Step 4: Choose four of these strategies which you think have some potential for your classes. Use
the ladder below to prioritise the order in which you will try four of these strategies in class.
1 ................................................................................
2 ..............................................................................
3 ...........................................................................
4 ........................................................................
Step 5: Share your experiences with your colleagues.
SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PEER ASSESSMENT: Supporting Independent Learning
L White
Best practice – Developing Peer Assessment and Self-Assessment
Strategies using ICT
There are many applications that lend themselves to peer assessment and self-evaluation.
Possible Uses
Adobe Acrobat Pro
Use Adobe Acrobat Pro to create E Portfolios. An E
portfolio is a collection of digital resources that reflects a
student’s progress.
Adobe Acrobat Pro – Sticky notes
Sticky notes can be added to PDFs to comment on student
By using this program students can create audio files to
assess their learning and to share with their peers. It is
very useful when students are rehearsing for an oral
presentation. Audio files can also be shared with their
Debut Video Capture software
Students can use video performances using the Laptop
webcam. The video can then be used for self-assessment
purposes or to provide feedback on group performances.
An excellent tool for peer assessment. Edmodo is an
online educational social network site which is secure and
easy to use. Students can upload written work to the site
and their peers can add feedback in an online chat forum.
Alternatively they can add comments to the work sample.
Freemind or Inspiration
These are mindmapping tools. Freemind is on the DER
Learning Essentials for Students Writing templates; graphic organisers
(DER Laptops)
Microsoft Word
Students can use the ‘Track Changes’ function to track all
changes to a document including insertions, deletions, and
formatting changes. This will help them to see where they
have improved a piece of writing.
By using ‘Add Comment’ students can comment on a
peer’s writing task to support their learning.
Graphic organisers are a great way for students to test
their understanding. This is made easier by using SmartArt
graphics on Word.
One Note
Students can use One Note to develop E Portfolios to
document their learning journey and share their work with
Google Docs
Use Google docs to create and send a quiz or selfevaluation survey via class email.
Smart Notebook
Smart Notebook has a variety of interactive options that
may be used in peer assessment.
Turning Point
Create an interactive test to enable students to gauge
their understanding of a topic.
Students can upload their work and receive feedback from
their peers.
SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PEER ASSESSMENT: Supporting Independent Learning
L White
Rubrics/Marking Criteria
The learning intention of a lesson or series of lessons tells students what they should know,
understand and be able to do, and the success criteria helps teachers to decide whether their
students have in fact achieved the learning intention. Importantly, the success criteria also
answer the same question from the point of view of the student:
A successful Marking Criteria embeds the following aspects:
Be written in language that students are likely to understand
Be limited in number so students are not overwhelmed by the scope of the task
Focus on the learning and not on aspects of behaviour
Be supported, where necessary, by exemplars or work samples which make their meaning
clear (This is particularly relevant in the case of rubrics)
Created ideally with input from students so that they have greater understanding and
How to Design Rubrics
Rubrics take many different forms. Some rubrics describe only three levels of performance others
have more. Sometimes the terminology used to describe the various parts of the rubric will differ.
None of this really matters. The important thing is that the purpose of the rubric remains the
same: it is used to make levels of performance explicit for both teacher and student.
The first step in designing a rubric is to identify the skills, knowledge and understanding that the
teacher wishes the students to demonstrate E.g. Ability to… Knowledge of… Understanding of
how/why/the ways in which…
The next step is to decide how many levels are to be described and then to write the
performance descriptors for each of those criteria.
In small groups discuss exemplar marking criteria.
• How do they differentiate between the various levels of achievement?
• How were the criteria chosen?
SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PEER ASSESSMENT: Supporting Independent Learning
L White
Clarke, Timperley, Hattie – Unlocking Formative Assessment. Practical Strategies for Enhancing
Students’ Learning in a Primary and Intermediate Classroom (2009)
Darling-Hammond, Hammond (Editors): Preparing Teachers for a Changing World. What teachers
should learn and be able to do (2005)
Hattie: Visible Learning – A Synthesis of over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement (2009)
NSW Department of Education and Communities: Curriculum Programming, Assessing and
Reporting to Parents K-12 (2007)
Petty: Evidence-Based teaching. A Practical Approach (2009)
NSW DEC Assessment and reporting Issues 7-12(1998)
NSW DEC Digital Education revolution
Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (Victorian Essential Learning Standards)