Higher Education

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 529–549 | Cite as

Quantitative studies of student self-assessment in higher education: a critical analysis of findings

  • David Boud
  • Nancy Falchikov


Student self-assessment occurs when learners make judgements about aspects of their own performance. This paper focuses on one aspect of quantitative self-assessments: the comparison of student-generated marks with those generated by teachers. Studies including such comparisons in the context of higher education courses are reviewed and the following questions are addressed: (i) do students tend to over- or under-rate themselves vis-á-vis teachers?, (ii) do students of different abilities have the same tendencies?, (iii) do students in different kinds or levels of course tend to under- or over-rate themselves?, (iv) do students improve their ability to rate themselves over time or with practice?, (v) are the same tendencies evident when self-marks are used for formal assessment purposes?, and (vi) are there gender differences in self-rating? The paper also discusses methodological issues in studies of this type and makes recommendations concerning the analysis and presentation of information.


High Education Gender Difference Quantitative Study Critical Analysis Methodological Issue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Boud
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nancy Falchikov
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Professional Development Centre, University of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia
  2. 2.Napier PolytechnicEdinburghScotland
  3. 3.Honorary Visiting Fellow in the former Tertiary Education Research Centre, University of New South WalesNew South WalesAustralia

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