Self-assessment has always presented a bit of a problem. Many teachers believe in it, but it is hard to teach students how to self-assess, and make no mistake, like any skill, you need to teach it. It doesn’t happen by magic!
Over the years I have tried various things, such as conferencing with students, holding a brief discussion with them about what mark to award for an assignment. Mainly they listened, and I talked: not a good idea if you want to help them do it on their own! I wanted them to do it on their own, and I tried to get them to come up with a mark, but so ingrained is the culture of teacher grading that I was not able to overcome it. Not face-to-face anyway.
I then got students to fill in their own assessment rubric and hand it in with the assignment. This worked better, but was still a case of me deciding whether they’d got it right or not, which wasn’t ideal.
I have, however, hit upon a way in which I can use Moodle, employing the affordances of the technology to sharpen and clarify the assessment routine in a way in which I could withdraw just that little bit more, and make the self part of self-assessment more real. Using the advanced upload function, I require students to submit their completed self-assessment rubric together with the assignment. I then take the mark they gave themselves, and if it is not problematic I accept it straight away. If I feel they have inflated their mark, or made errors in assessing their work, I do not re-mark their rubric, but I use the feedback box to let them know that I think their self-assessment is not accurate enough. I give them a reason, eg. “You did not give a bibliography so you can’t really get full marks for citation!” I then ask them to re-assess and re-upload their rubric.
In this way I hope that I am guiding them towards becoming more accurate in their self-assessment, and also giving them practice so that self-assessment becomes a habit.