Student Self-Assessment: Teachers' Definitions, Reasons, and Beliefs

Andrews, C. D. (2016). Student self-assessment: Teachers' definitions, reasons, and beliefs (Masters thesis). Retrieved from


The purpose of this study was to understand how teachers define student self-assessment (SSA), why teachers use or do not use SSA, and to explore how beliefs might influence teachers' reasons for using SSA or not. This study used Ajzen's theory of planned behavior to explore the relationships between teachers' stated beliefs about SSA and reasons for using or not using SSA. I interviewed seven teachers from one high school in the Intermountain West and found that five of the seven teachers in this study used SSA. I found that these teachers' definitions of SSA varied between formative and summative approaches. The way teachers defined SSA appeared to influence their implementation of SSA, as well as their reasons for using or not using SSA. I also found that beliefs associated with student outcomes (e.g., student cognitive and skill growth, student motivation) were usually indicators for using SSA. However, beliefs about resources (e.g., time to implement, good models) and concerns about students' ability to self-assess were typically associated with not using SSA. For those studying this issue, or schools or districts intending to implement forms of SSA, a "one-size-fit-all" approach is not recommended. A more effective approach for moving research to practice would be to start with how teachers are defining SSA, and then individually address their reasons and beliefs surrounding SSA.