Practicing Self-Assessment:
The Key Skill to Lifelong Learning

As an increasing number of educational institutions move away from teacher-driven instruction, students have assumed more control over their own learning as a result. In response to this philosophical shift, many instructors have encouraged a self-regulated approach to learning where “students actively construct their own knowledge and skills,” as opposed to a simple acquisition process where teachers transfer knowledge to students (Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick, 2006).


Self-assessment — which involves learners evaluating their own work to identify discrepancies between current and desired performance (McMillan and Hearn, 2008) — plays an important role in this process. Educational researchers encourage the practice of self-assessment because the skills students develop while reflecting on and critiquing their own work are necessary for lifelong learning (Boud, 2000; Spiller, 2009).


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