Guided marking

Developing effective self-assessment can take time and training to be effective. However once fully embedded in teaching and learning, these assessment strategies can be particularly useful in raising attainment.

Developing reflective skills provides students with the ability to consider their own performance and to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and areas that require improvement. Students can then to use this knowledge to influence their future work

However, students may struggle to understand how to interpret the mark scheme and how to award marks. With both self and peer assessment in Smart Revise there are guided and unguided marking options too.

Unguided marking presents the student with a classic mark scheme for a question. Guided marking presents each bullet point of the mark scheme as a set of yes/no questions. Awarding marks automatically and effectively guiding the student through the mark scheme.

Level of response frameworks

Some longer answer questions worth the most marks require students to provide a more structured, coherent argument reflecting the assessment objectives (AOs) listed in the course specification. Typically these may be knowledge, understanding, application and conclusion.

These types of questions are not marked on a one mark per point basis, instead it is about the continuity of the response. Students are presented with the appropriate framework and asked to judge their confidence within a mark band before a mark is automatically awarded.

The research

Self-assessment is when a student marks their own work in order to make adjustments that deepen learning and enhance performance. Although it can be summative, the evidence suggests that self-assessment is most beneficial, in terms of both achievement and self-regulated learning, when it is used formatively.

At face value it appears that self-assessment is lazy teaching and that there is little to be gained for the student. Neither of these statements are true.

Engaging with the marking of a question is just as important as answering the question itself. It allows the student to consider their answer carefully in light of a mark scheme, see alternative answers and how they could have improved their answer to score more highly.

According to John Hattie's Visible Learning research, self-reflection (or self-assessment) yields a +0.75 effect size. This means almost two years of growth in a year's time.


Andrade, H. (2019) A Critical Review of Research on Student Self-Assessment. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feduc.2019.00087/full

Hattie, J. 2008. Visible Learning: A Synthesis of over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement. New York: Routledge.