Academic & Student Affairs

Development of self-assessment and reflection

If students are to acquire the skills of regulating their own learning and development they need to be able to self assess their work.  Providing students with opportunities to engage with self-assessment in a formal manner is likely to develop more autonomous learners and lead to greater engagement with the criteria and standards. 

Ways to do this:

  • Ask students to complete a self-assessment proforma (using the assessment criteria) – this may include an estimate of the mark (your feedback would identify why there are gaps between the student’s view and yours)
  • Ask students to indicate the parts of their work which they feel are strengths and weaknesses
  • A combination of the two above
  • Students requesting assistance/feedback on particular aspects (this could be included with the above also)
  • A series of on-line formative tests
  • Peer assessment provides an opportunity for a student to engage with the criteria and standards on someone else’s work and then apply that to their own
  • Confidence-based marking for MCQs – as well as providing an answer students have to rate how confident they are that this is the correct answer on a scale of 1-3.  If the answer is incorrect then the penalty is greater the higher the level of confidence.  If the answer is correct the mark depends on the confidence level.
  • Students keep a reflective journal or portfolio through the course - PDP

Some Queen’s examples:

CSC2007 Games Programming

School of Languages, Literature and Performing Arts

SOC2028 The Family in European Society

CRM3004 Development of Policing

PSY2055 Methods and Group Project

CSC2007 Games Programming

In two of the milestone submissions students are asked to indicate what they would like audio feedback on.  Where a project is developed by a team of students there is the option to distribute marks for each member.  This is outlined to the students as a team discussion.  Where students cannot make a decision the module convener will arrange a meeting with the team.  The module convener retains the right to modify any marks awarded by students in this way based on his observations from meetings and interaction with the team.  

School of Languages, Literature and Performing Arts
The cover sheet that students attach to their work invites them to indicate what aspects of the work they would like feedback on.

SOC2028 The Family in European Society
In preparation the coursework element, the Module Coordinator presented the challenge that all students should get a 1st class mark.  Students hand in a 500-750 word essay outline with an analysis of its strengths and weaknesses.  Outlines are then passed around anonymously to other students.  Module coordinator talks through the assessment criteria with the students.  The students then ‘mark’ the essay outlines and comment on the strengths and weaknesses.  These are then returned to the author.
The module coordinator felt that the students were more anxious about what they were doing.  There was also some concern about students giving feedback which sent the author in the wrong direction.  Students were told that if they received conflicting advice then they should see the module coordinator. 
Students commented that this was the first time that they had been guided through the marking process and found it very helpful.  Six out of twenty four achieved first class marks.

CRM3004 Development of Policing
Part of the assessment for this module is a 3500 word essay which accounts for 50% of the module mark.  The essay is handed in at the end of November.  The tutorial in week 6 provides students with an opportunity to receive feedback on thier essay plan.  For the tutorial students prepared a 750 word essay plan.  In addition they had to answer three self-assessment questions: what are the strengths, what are the weaknesses and what are the possible areas for improvement?  In the tutorial the anonymous essay plans were distributed around the class.  Each member of the class peer-assessed the work of a colleague using the same three questions: what were the strengths, weaknesses and what could be done better?  Students could then compare their own assessments with that from a colleague.  There was a general discussion about the exercise and  marking guidelines.
What the students say:
'Yes, it flagged up issues that were common across the board and reminded me that I should avoid making these mistakes'.
'Yes as I could see how my own reflections were in fact similar to my marker'.
'Yes, it helped me focus on my weaker areas in essays/assignments'.

PSY2055 Methods and Group Project
Part of the assignment for the module includes a presentation of the group project.  The presentation is videoed.   The video is viewed by the group with their supervisor.  Each student comments on their own performance.  Students are asked to suggest two things that each of their colleagues did well and suggest one area for improvement.