Several methods can help students to monitor their own progress towards learning goals, a key element of self-regulated learning. By providing students with checklists, marking rubrics, and exemplar pieces of work to compare to their own, we can develop their capacity to self-assess.
Schraw (1998) proposes a series of questions in a checklist that students can use to help plan, monitor, and evaluate their learning. These include:
- What is the goal of my task?
- What kind of information do I need?
- How much time will I need?
- Do I have a clear understanding of what I am doing?
- Am I moving towards the learning goals?
- Do I need to change strategies?
- Have I reached the learning goal?
- What worked? What didn’t?
- What would I change for next time?
Additionally, providing students with a copy of the marking rubric – provided that it contains sufficient detail for the student to judge their work against it – helps to make success clear to students. Avoiding arbitrary letter or number grades in rubrics, and instead creating clear level descriptors that articulate what is required at each level of performance, will help to make rubrics a more useful tool in developing self-regulation.
For example, students may not know the difference between a 3 and a 4 out of 5 when being marked on shooting a basketball, but can more readily understand the difference between “can make a layup with dominant hand” compared to “can make a layup using either hand”. This clarity helps them to be able to use a rubric to self-assess performance without the need for external feedback.