Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 803–830 | Cite as

The Future of Student Self-Assessment: a Review of Known Unknowns and Potential Directions

  • Ernesto PanaderoEmail author
  • Gavin T. L. Brown
  • Jan-Willem Strijbos
Reflection on the Field


This paper reviews current known issues in student self-assessment (SSA) and identifies five topics that need further research: (1) SSA typologies, (2) accuracy, (3) role of expertise, (4) SSA and teacher/curricular expectations, and (5) effects of SSA for different students. Five SSA typologies were identified showing that there are different conceptions on the SSA components but the field still uses SSA quite uniformly. A significant amount of research has been devoted to SSA accuracy, and there is a great deal we know about it. Factors that influence accuracy and implications for teaching are examined, with consideration that students’ expertise on the task at hand might be an important prerequisite for accurate self-assessment. Additionally, the idea that SSA should also consider the students’ expectations about their learning is reflected upon. Finally, we explored how SSA works for different types of students and the challenges of helping lower performers. This paper sheds light on SSA research needs to address the known unknowns in this field.


Self-assessment Formative assessment Accuracy Construct validity Reliability Typologies of self-assessment 



This position paper/ reflection would not have been possible without the ideas we exchanged with some of our colleagues (especially in a symposium on self-assessment at the EARLI 2013 conference). We would like to thank David Boud, David Carless, Filip Dochy, Kelvin Tan, and Maddalena Taras for their participation and contribution to the symposium on self-assessment that lead to this article. First author would like to also thank to Liria Fernandez for helping him to self-assess in the most important subject: life.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Funding Acknowledgment

First author funding via Ramón y Cajal program by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (Referencia: RYC-2013-13469) is acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Psicología Evolutiva y de la EducaciónUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.School of Learning, Development & Professional Practice, Faculty of EducationThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyLudwig-Maximilians-UniversityMunichGermany

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