Learning Strategy: Student Use of Self-Assessment Tools


Student Use of Self-Assessment Tools is a process during which students take ownership for learning about themselves. Self-assessment tools include areas of self-exploration such as personal identity (thoughts, actions, attitudes, interests, beliefs, values, and behaviors), health and wellness (relationships, mental health, physical health, substance use) and cultural identities (race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, etc.). Self-assessment tools may include inventories, surveys, or self-evaluation on a rubric. Self-assessment provides direction for future learning (Chamot and O'Malley, 1994).

Learning strategies this strategy can be confused with

Student evaluation and goal setting. The differences include (1) self-assessment is a measurement of one's growth, learning or performance on one or more specific areas often tied to a formal position. (2) Use of self-assessments is an inventory of one's values, beliefs, identity, etc. The focus is on exploring one's self.

Resources to learn more about this strategy

Andrade, H. & Du, Y. (2007). "Student Responses to Criteria Referenced Self-assessment." Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education , 32(2), 159-181.

Asadoorian, J. & Batty, H. (2005). "An Evidence-Based Model of Effective Self-Assessment for Directing Professional Learning." Journal of Dental Education, 69(12), 1315-1323.

Chamot, A. & O'Malley, J. (1994). The CALLA Handbook: Implementing the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Spiller, D. (2009). Assessment Matters: Self-Assessment and Peer Assessment. Hamilton, New Zealand: Teaching Development, University of Waikato.

Promoting Student Self-Assessment. Retrieved from http://www.readwritethink.org/professional-development/strategy-guides/promoting-student-self-assessment-30102.html.

Examples at USD
DiSC Myers-Briggs True Colors
Enneagram StrengthsFinder Leadership Compass
Marginalization Wheel Online Mental Health Assessment Strong Interest Inventory

Sample Activity

Part 1: What is Identity?

  • We are going to start by reviewing the description of "identity"
    • Characteristics by which a person is recognized
    • Behavior or personal characteristics of a member of a group
    • Things we own or others assign us
  • Show list of some identities
  • Distribute handout with identity wheel
  • Give a couple of examples from your own identities to ensure audience gets the descriptions above
  • Have each participant complete their own identity wheel under the 6 given categories (give them a few minutes)

Part 2: Marginalization Wheel

The purpose of this worksheet is to provide you with a chance to situate yourself in society as it relates to your social identities.

On each spoke of the wheel, write the identity that best fits you for the given category (e.g., race, gender, class, sexual orientation, religion and ability). Place a mark on the spoke between the outer rim of marginalization and the inner hub of privilege where you feel your identity fits along the spectrum. For example, if you believe your identity provides you with privilege your mark should be closer to the center hub.

Marginalization Wheel 

Commitment Statement

What is one thing you will do to explore your own privilege?

Part 3: Debrief

  • Some identities are privileged and some are marginalized
    • Share definitions of marginalized and privileged identities
  • Post questions to the group and have them answer them in pairs, triads, or small groups (feel free to add other questions):
    • What positive/negative messages have you received as a member of these identities? Part of your privileged group(s)? Part of your marginalized group(s)?
    • What advantages/disadvantages do you perceive these identities to have?
    • Which of these identities have an impact on your daily decisions?
  • Ask for highlights from the different groups on their conversations
  • End with asking each participant to answer the commitment statement

Rev. 7/3/17

Back to Learning Strategies