Improving student-centered feedback through self-assessment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: Traditionally, feedback on written work is unidirectional, with academics feeding back to students. This project aimed to establish bi-directional feedback between the student and academics through a process of self-assessment. Objectives: To improve the process of student-centered feedback by including a self-assessment component to an assessment task. Design: A two-phased, mixed methods explanatory sequential approach was used. Settings: Students were enrolled across two campuses at a large university in Victoria, Australia. Participants: The Phase One sample consisted of all students enrolled in Year One and Year Three of the Bachelor of Nursing. There were 484 students enrolled in Year One, and 419 students enrolled in Year Three. Some students elected not to complete the self-assessment rubric, and those students were removed from the sample. This left 430 Year One, and 324 Year Three assessments in the sample. Convenience sampling was used in Phase Two to collect qualitative data via semi-structured focus groups from students in years One and Three. Methods: Quantitative data of student-assessed and academic-assessed marks were entered by a research assistant and then analysed using SPSS. Qualitative data were collected from a semi-structured interview and focus group with Year One and Year Three students. Qualitative data were then thematically analysed. Results and conclusions: Year One students were closer at estimating their own grade (M = 3.60; SD = 11.94) than Year Three students (M = 6.47; SD = 12.81). Students often underestimated their grade to see if the marker would match it or provide them with a higher grade. Year One students have trouble finding and utilising evidence while Year Three students cite this as a strength. When students engaged with the process, their self-review of work enabled them to improve the work prior to submission, and academic feedback was more meaningful. However, many students lacked trust in the process, and instead opted to ‘game the system’, hoping to hide flaws in their work, or draw extra marks from an academic by marking their own work down.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104193
Number of pages6
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Cite this