Marzano's Self-Assessment Rubric

Provide students with clear criteria to self-assess effectively
1782 teachers like this strategy
Marzano's Practice Overview

About This Strategy

Marzano's Self-Assessment Rubric is a rubric with specific criteria that supports students to self-assess on a 1 to 4 scale. The easy to understand criteria can help students to more effectively self-assess and can help teachers see how students feel about the content.

Student self-reflection and assessment enables students to better understand their own level of understanding. However, students need to guidance and practice in learning how to reflect and appropriately self-assess.  Explore the resources below to learn about Marzano's self-assessment rubric, which provides students with clear criteria for self-assessing their level of understanding.

Implementation Steps

5 minutes
  1. Introduce the Marzano's Practice rubric (included as a resource below) to students.
  2. Explain the criteria for each level to students. It is important to make the criteria concrete.

    • Level 1: Even with help, I do not get this

    • Level 2: Help me a little, and I got this

    • Level 3: I just need some more practice

    • Level 4: I need a challenge or I could teach someone

  3. Have students practice using the rubric to self-assess their level of understanding. Then review the options below for how to use the rubric for in person or distance learning. 

Using the Rubric to Support Student Reflection

Marzano's Self-Assessment Rubric empowers students to honestly and effectively reflect on and self-assess their level of understanding.

Implementation Steps:

  1. Have students use the self-assessment levels to rate their level of understanding.

  2. Assess for accuracy:

    • Review student's self-assessment rates for accuracy

    • Allow students to review data and compare to the level they chose

Using the Rubric to Recommend Learning Activities

This is a great way for teachers to differentiate work and empower students to determine the most appropriate learning activity.

Implementation Steps:

  1.  Based on students' level of understanding, assign appropriate work for each level.

  2. Have students use Marzano's level to self-assess their level of understanding. Based on this level of understanding, students should complete that learning activity.

  3. Ask students to reflect on whether or not they chose the appropriate level

    • Was the activity too easy? Too hard?

    • What did you learn from engaging in the learning activity?

Marzano's Self-Assessment Rubric For Distance Learning

Tori Todd
BetterLesson Instructional Coach

Self-assessment is a helpful reflective tool when engaging in distance learning. Use Marzano's self-assessment rubric to support students to reflect on their learning and make choices about distance learning tasks.

Implementation steps:

  1. During synchronous class periods, ask students to use the Marzano's Self-Assessment Rubric to reflect on their understanding. Students can hold up fingers on screen, or type their self-assessment level into a chat feature (such as on Zoom).

    • Consider using a tool like Google Forms or Socrative to survey students. These tools pull together data into a spreadsheet for easy analysis and grouping.

  2. Based on students' self-assessments, consider using breakout rooms to differentiate student learning during your synchronous class period. Students who self-assess at a 3 or 4 could work in breakout rooms to complete a collaborative task suited to this level of understanding, while students who self-assess at a 1 or 2 could stay in the main room to work with their teacher.

    • Consider offering students options for asynchronous work based on their self-assessments. Students can engage with tasks tailored to their self-assessment level.

Special Education Modification

Nedra Massenburg
Special Education Specialist

Self-Assessment Rubrics support students with disabilities by providing a safe, structured opportunity to develop reflection and assessment skills to help them identify growth needed in a lesson.

Using a tool like  Marzano’s Self-Assessment to help students reflect and self-assess their mastery of skills, requires significant executive functioning (task initiation, prioritization, working memory, etc.) and written expression skills.  In order to support students with disabilities who have difficulty with independent, multi-step reflection activities, and/or written expression consider the following modifications:


  1. Consider using written, verbal and movement-based methods for self-reflection rubric to give students multiple methods to show their self-reflection to check for understanding. See the "Self-Reflection Tool Examples" in the resource section below.

EL Modification

Shannon Coyle
English Learner Specialist

Marzano’s self-assessment rubric guides English learners with a simple to understand and execute means of conveying their level of understanding of a topic. Teachers are afforded the opportunity to get an inside look at learner’s perceptions and remediate and extend as needed. 

English learners are required to listen and follow directions as well as read, write, and respond during activities. In order to support English Learners consider the following modifications:


  1. Ensure English learners understand the levels. Consider simplified, numeric or color-coded charts or posters on the wall and reference them often. Consider partnering with learners’ language specialist to preview and practice applying the levels for learners at lower levels of English proficiency. See the "Example Leveled Posters" in the resource section below for more information.
  2. Ensure English learners understand all directions for activities in their level before beginning to work e.g., ask for learners to restate directions. If the activities are new to learners, consider previewing or partnering with learners’ language specialist to preview for learners at lower levels of proficiency.
  3. Perform 1:1 check-ins with English learners. Use independent work time to give English learners an opportunity to use their academic language, and learning facilitators a chance to formatively assess content language use, to guide self-assessment and redirect to more appropriate levels as needed.
  4. Provide English learners with familiar reference sheets such as graphic organizers, word banks, sentence stems, formula sheets, etc., to use as needed during activities.
  5. Provide comprehensible content in activities that require learners to read-to-learn. Consider providing home language content as available during independent or technology-based activities. When available, home language content can be a powerful tool in developing and progressing skills. See the "Research and Bilingual Content Resources for English Learners" resource in the resource section below for more information.

Questions to Consider

Daniel Guerrero
BetterLesson Instructional Coach
  1. What are some ways to support students, and yourself, in remembering to use Marzano’s Self-Assessment?

  2. How can you support students to effectively use this self-assessment rubric?

Tech Tools


  • Plickers is a tech tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices. Students are handed cards with a different symbol on each side. Each side represents one out of 4 possible answers. The teachers scans the group with a smartphone or a tablet and instantly get data on a specific question.

  • Plickers supports self-assessments by creating the possibility of making them private and less threatening for students than hand signals. Only the teacher can by this method have access to the different groups created and it can encourage students to self-assess more accurately. It also creates automatically a record that teachers can compare to their own formative assessment data to ensure that students are accurately using this practice. It opens the door to 1:1 and group discussions when gaps are identified between self and formative assessments.