Self-assessment is described by Race (2005) as a means by which students can both\ud better prepare for assessment and better demonstrate their learning (p. 94). Reflective\ud practice is a necessary skill of all graduates; fundamental to this is self-assessment.\ud Within graduate education per se awareness of one’s own learning, in terms of both\ud achievements and ongoing needs, is fundamental to 1) working autonomously, 2) lifelong\ud learning and 3) collaborative working.\ud Self-assessment is suggested by Taras (2001) as a means by which confidence and\ud independence may be fostered. A self-assessment dialogue document (SADD) is a means\ud by which a student is encouraged to reflect on their learning from undertaking a piece of\ud work at the point of assessment. This not only fosters breadth and depth of reflection, but\ud allows dialogue between the student and assessor (tutor or peer) that feeds forward –\ud either summatively, formatively (described by Irons (2008) as a powerful and\ud constructive learning tool) or a combination of both – into the student’s learning\ud continuum. In addition, a dialogue-approach may allow an opportunity for the student to\ud clarify and verify with the tutor what is being said (Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick, 2006) -\ud crucial if learning is to be maximised as students often do not understand the feedback\ud being given to them.\ud Tutor feedback is viewed as a crucial component to student learning and there is clear\ud evidence that self-assessment and tutor discussion enhances student learning in\ud comparison to self assessment alone (Taras, 2001). There is some debate around the\ud relationship between learning opportunity and summative grading (Taras, 2001; 2002),\ud but even if awarded a summative mark, the formative feedback from the student-assessor\ud dialogue enriches the student’s learning experience (Irons, 2008). Ultimately such\ud activity may enhance student retention and develop skills of reflection and criticality
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