Evaluation of assessment skills using essay rubrics in student self-grading at first year level in higher education: a case study

  • Sharita Bharuthram
Keywords: grading, self-assessment, learner-centred assessment, higher education, assessment rubric


This paper reports on a study in which students self-graded an assessment task with the aid of an assessment rubric. On comparing student selfgrades with those of the tutor it was found that majority (72.6%) of the students failed to demonstrate good self-assessment skills with student grades ranging from 25 less than the tutor grade to an overestimation of 36 above the tutor grade. Consistent with other research studies the results further show that weaker students graded themselves higher than the better performing students. However, there was a tendency for male students to grade themselves higher than female students. Analysis of the qualitative data reveals that students’ feelings about self-grading may play a role in the grades they assign themselves. The author therefore recommends that affective factors need to considered and addressed prior to the self-grading task. Furthermore, it is evident that rubrics alone may not necessarily improve selfgrading and that internalisation of the rubric criteria and standards, as well as practice is crucial. Finally, in order to produce graduates who are able to appraise their performance, selfassessment should be embedded early in the students degree programme and be sustained throughout the degree.

Key words: grading, self-assessment, learner-centred assessment, higher education, assessment rubric


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eISSN: 0259-9570