Formative Assessment Series: Self- and Peer-Assessment (Week 5)

The main purposes of self- and peer- assessment are to:

  • increase student responsibility and independence
  • strive for a more advanced and deeper understanding of the knowledge and skills
  • change the role of the student from a passive learner to an active leaner
  • involve students in critical reflection
  • develop in students a better understanding of their own subjectivity and judgement


Students can become better learners when they engage in purposeful thought about what they are learning and how they are learning it. Students reflect on learning strategies and their progress as learners. Self-assessment encourages students to become independent learners, which will increase their motivation.

Peer assessment

One of the ways in which students can internalize the characteristics of quality work is by assessing the work of their peers. For peer assessment to work effectively, the classroom must have a supportive learning environment. Students must trust one another in order to provide honest and constructive feedback. A clear understanding of the expectations is critical for students to evaluate peers’ work.

Both self- and peer-assessment are important for providing students an opportunity to think about their learning.

Teachers must help students in the development of thinking about their own learning. This allows students to take responsibility for learning and evaluating their own progress in the learning process.