Self-Assessment Conference

Self-Assessment Conferences encourages students to reflect individually on how their work meets the goals of learning targets and skills
294 teachers like this strategy

About This Strategy

Self-Assessment conferences allow the teacher to meet with students individually to reflect on their progress, success, and struggles in the class. Self-assessment conferences provide students with an opportunity to discuss their ownership, participation, and performance in the class with their teacher and receive support from the teacher. Self-Assessment Conferences can be used in any class and at any grade level, aligned with specific learning targets or goals within the class.

Implementation Steps

30 minutes
  1. Create a student self-assessment form related to the specific learning target, class topic, or activity being completed in class. Have students complete the self-assessment form prior to the conference.

  2. Hold a small conference with each student individually (3-5 minutes) to discuss their self-assessment.

    • Focus the discussion around the student's success, struggles, and participation throughout the activity.

    • Allow the student to express any concerns or struggles that they had and try to support the student with steps to fix errors or with remediation support.

    • Praise the student's efforts and any successes that the student noted on the self-assessment.

  3. Immediately after the conference make quick notes regarding any important information you learned from the student during the conference.

  4. While you are conferencing with students individually, the rest of the class should be working on an engaging activity, station rotation, or learning centers that does not require a large amount of teacher support or instruction.

Additional Resources:

Self-Assessment for Collaboration

Self-Assessment for Collaboration can be used for students to reflect on their participation, collaboration, contributions, and teamwork efforts during a collaborative activity.

Implementation Steps:

  1. Follow all of the steps listed above using a self-assessment tool or template centered around collaborative work (i.e. assessing participation, collaboration, contributions, and communication efforts during a collaborative activity).

Students Self-Reporting Data, Grades, or Progress

Kathleen Rockefeller
BetterLesson Instructional Coach

Self-reporting their own data, grades, and progress allows students to take ownership and agency over their learning  With this classroom strategy, students set goals prior to learning and record their data from various assignments or online applications onto a single data tracking document.  The data tracker can be broken down by domain and standard. Students are able to use the data tracker to make informed decisions about their learning and to set actionable goals. Self-reporting data can also be used as a tool to reflect on student data during a student-teacher conference.  

Implementation steps:

  1. Create a data tracking document for the specific subject area (see a sample data tracking template linked in the resources below).  

    • The data tracking document could include, but is not limited to: 

      • Name of Assignment

      • Description of Assignment

      • Standards Covered in the Assignment

      • Pre-Assessment Grades

      • Pre-Learning Goals

      • Formative Assessment Grades (classroom activities, partner work, independent work, homework, etc.)

      • Summative Assessment Grades

      • Personal Reflection on Assignment

      • Standards-Based Goal Setting

  2. Model how to use the data tracking document with a variety of assignments. Model how to access and complete the data tracking document. Utilize a whole class, direct-teach, lesson on how students should access the data tracking document.  

  3. Explicitly teach how to access the data tracking document. This initial lesson, introducing self-reported grading, should also include time to set up expectations regarding the implementation of self-reporting grades. Explicitly teach, and set up a visual reminder (anchor chart, poster, etc.), about expectations when it comes to self-reporting data. 

    • To set up expectations, the teacher can consider:

      • How frequently should students report their grades in the data tracking document?

      • If a personal reflection on each assignment is included in the data-tracker, what language should students use to reflect on the assignment?  How long should a reflection be?

      • If goal-setting is included in the data tracking document, how can students create specific, measurable, and attainable goals for themselves?

      • How will the teacher ensure student privacy and confidentiality as students self-report their data and grades?

      • How will the students model honesty as they self-report their data and grades?  Why is it important to be honest when self-reporting data and grades? How will the teacher ensure that the grades and data entered into the data tracking document are accurate?

  4. Allow students to practice tracking a few sample grades.  These can be made-up grades that the teacher and students input into the data tracking document together to practice how to use the data tracking document. 

  5. Allow students to reflect on the self-reported grading procedures, ask any questions, and share their thoughts regarding the strategy. 

  6. Students can use their data tracking tool during one-on-one conferences with the teacher. Use the following sentence stems as a guide to question students about their self-reported data: 

    • What activity or lesson did you really enjoy this week/month/etc.?

    • As you look at your data, what were your strengths?  What specific skills did you show mastery of? What were some specific skills that you may want to improve upon?

    • If we look at your grades from the previous data tracking document, did you show growth from then to now?  

    • How can I help you more in the classroom? 

Modification for English Learners

  • For English Learners, it is important to utilize data trackers for both content and language proficiency (reading, speaking, writing, and listening). Consider creating a separate data tracking document for students to self-report formative assessment grades specific to the area of language proficiency (reading, speaking, writing, and listening) so that they can reflect on their progress in the specific area of language development. Or, the data tracking document can be modified for English language learners to include a designated spot to report data and reflect on language proficiency.  

Modifications for Students with Disabilities

  • The data-tracking document for students with decreased classwork loads, can include only the assignments that students are expected to complete, as opposed to all assignments given to general education students.  Pre-write the assignments onto the student's data tracking document, so they have clear expectations of which assignments they are required to complete and to report-their grades on. 

  • When reflecting on the data via a one-on-one teacher-student conference, the teacher should incorporate the student's Individualized Education Plan goals into feedback given to the student. 

Self-Assessment of Time on Task

Students can use an On-Task Timer to self-monitor their work habits during a specified period of time. After that period of time, the students can reflect on their work habits in order to make adjustments and improvements.


Implementation Steps: 

  1. Co-create an anchor chart with students that discusses what on-task learning looks like and what it doesn't look like (possibly a T-Chart or consult the Y-Chart for Clear Expectations strategy in the BetterLesson Lab).

  2. Review/revisit the chart daily until students internalize the expectations.

  3. Decide on a time that you want the students to monitor and then self-reflect on their on-task behavior. 

  4. Set a timer for a small amount of time (5-10 minutes to start) for students to work independently on a task.

  5. When the timer goes off, give students time to reference the chart and rate themselves on their habits during the work time (you could create levels or a number system). See sample chart below.

  6. Students can keep track of their work over the course of an hour on a sticky note or use another tracking system 

  7. Over time, the teacher can increase the amount of time between self-assessments and work towards 30 minutes to an hour between self-assessments.

  8. Teachers can also conference individually with each student on his or her work habits in order to develop personalized work habit goals for each student.

Special Education Modification

Nedra MassenburgDEMO
Special Education Specialist

Conferences with teachers provide an accessible, structured way for students with disabilities to reflect and analyze their performances.   Conferences support students with disabilities by providing a structured opportunity for them to receive more feedback on their performances.

Effective self-assessment conferences require teachers to prepare for the bevy of skills they require from students including executive functioning (task initiation, prioritization, working memory, etc.) skills, written expression skills, reading skills, and/or verbal skills.  In order to support students with disabilities who have difficulty in these areas consider the following modifications:


  1. Ensure that any handouts used are structured or modified to help students with task initiation as well as provide clear benchmarks (bolded words, bulleted lists) to assess task completion.   
  2. For students who struggle with written expression, provide sentence stems visuals for their written responses and/or provide exemplar examples from other self-assessment responses for them as a resource.
  3. Teachers should think carefully about the approach of quality over quantity when helping students with disabilities analyze their data (see resources below).  For the most targeted support, the focus should be on a deep analysis of performance on the highest leverage tasks of an assessment or goal rather than reviewing all skills.  The extensive focus should be helping students to positively frame growth in skills, especially in areas impacted by their disability. See the resources in the resource section below for more information.

EL Modification

Shannon Coyle
English Learner Specialist

This strategy is a great way for teachers to meet with English learners in a 1:1 setting to guide learners in reflecting on their work. Teachers also have the opportunity to ensure learner progress in utilizing academic vocabulary. 

English learners need to use all four domains of language during self-assessment conferences: read and respond in writing, as well as discuss their self-assessment with, and listen to feedback from teachers. In order to support English Learners consider the following modifications:


  1. Make self-assessment forms accessible. Ensure English learners understand the questions and how to respond. Use simple sentence and question structure, provide word banks, sentence starters, or a visual rating system, e.g., smiley faces, for learners at lower levels of proficiency. Consult data about learners’ language level to guide expectations for responses. See the following resources in the resource section below for more information: "WIDA Can Do Descriptors" and "Teacher Tool: Leveled Question Stems."
  2. Provide feedback in language learners can understand. Use simple sentence structure and use comprehensible vocabulary. Ask questions that are specific and efficient. See the "Teacher Tool: Leveled Question Stems" resource in the resource section below.
  3. Give direct feedback on language use. Conveying knowledge and information, and interacting with socially and academically with learning facilitators and peers are important parts of mastering any skill for English learners. Use learner-friendly rubrics to evaluate language skills used to show content mastery. See the "A Strategy for Giving Corrective Feedback to ELLs" article and the "ELD Student-Friendly Rubrics" in the resource section below.

Questions to Consider

  1. How could you scaffold this conferencing strategy to modify it for students' learning abilities?

  2. How could you encourage students to use your feedback to make improvements?

  3. How could you modify this strategy so the same form can be used multiple times to track progress?

  4. How could you encourage honest reflection of students when completing this self-assessment?

  5. What could be challenging about this strategy, and how could you address any challenges in advance??

Lessons to Support Implementation

Explore the "In My Opinion..." lesson by kindergarten teacher Joanne Clapp to see how to engage in self-assessment writing conferences with students.

Tech Tools


  1. Students can record their self-assessment reflections using Flipgrid. The teacher can then watch the videos before meeting with students. The teacher could meet with students virtually through the comment tools on Flipgrid or the teacher can pull the students for individually conferences based on their video responses.