Top 10 tips on Self-assessment Sheets

Activity time: 20 Minutes

Types of media: Handout/s, Webpage, Helpsheet


Race, Gibbs & Simpson (Unknown Institution)


This resource discusses the dialogue between staff and students about written feedback. Includes tips to help develop effective feedback forms, with a particular focus on designing the sheets and how to initiate student responses.


Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0

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Date Modified

Date Added

This information/resource was last updated in June 2021.

This post was originally added to LearnHigher on: January 6, 2012

About this resource

Self assessment forms can open a dialogue between staff and students about written feedback. Overuse of the same feedback form may lead to superficial responses. Use these tips to vary your forms and focus your feedback.

Designing your sheet1:

1. Get students to list the points they want feedback on. Provide feedback on these points only: nothing else.

2. Develop a two stage feedback design to separate feedback and grades.

  • Part 1 lists feedback and does not give a grade. Students use this formative feedback to rework and then resubmit their assignment.
  • Part 2 provides the grade only.

3. Provide feedback but no marks. In this way, students read feedback to gauge their progress rather than relying on marks.

4. Get students to self-assess their work (you may provide prompt points). You provide feedback after the self assessment, without marks so that students are encouraged to compare the two sets of comments.

5. Provide a grade after a combination of self-assessment and tutor feedback. All or any of these stages can form part of summative assessments.

Prompts to students2:

1. What do you think is a fair score or grade for the you have handed in? This may correspond with your own judgement but don’t be discouraged by variation: the discrepancies are good indicator’s of students’ understanding of the topic and their performance on the task.

2. What do you think you did best in this assignment?* This serves to focus your feedback on strengths they have or that they may have overlooked.

3.What do you think you did least well in this assignment?* Similar to #2; however, if they have completed the work adequately, it is important to reinforce this.

4. What did you find the hardest part of this assignment?* This may correspond to the part they did least well: either way, feedback on performance is important to encourage and support their learning.

5. What was the most important thing you learned in this assignment?*. Illuminating for the tutors! Reassure students that learning is an incremental process and each step will be useful.

References and Further Reading:

1 Taken from Gibbs & Simpson (2004) p24.

2 Taken from Race (2001), pp13-14.

Gibbs, G & Simpson, C (2004) ‘Conditions under which assessment supports students’ learning’, Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Issue 1

Race, P. (2001) Assessment: A Briefing on Self, Peer and Group Assessment, LTSN Generic Centre Assessment Series Number 9, York: LTSN Generic Centre.


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