OSCQR – Standard #47RSI Dashboard illustration

OSCQR – Standard #47RSI Dashboard illustration

Course provides opportunities for learners to review their performance and assess their own learning throughout the course (via pre-tests, self-tests with feedback, reflective assignments, peer assessment, etc.).

Review These Explanations

Pre-tests allow a learner to better understand what they already know and where they have more to learn. It provides information on prior knowledge and gaps in knowledge or understanding that can help the learner more effectively and efficiently focus their learning effort.

Self-assessment involves the reviewing one’s own work, determining what is good, and detailing what needs improvement. It is a multi-faceted method of determining learner mastery, by asking learners to explore their own work, and determine a level of performance or mastery.

Self-assessment and reflective assignments play a role in learner self-efficacy and self-regulation, fosters learners’ abilities to construct meaning, and promotes metacognition. By asking learners to check their skill mastery levels, or reflect on their own work and learning, they learn to examine their own reasoning and decision making process, and understand better what helps or hinders their learning (Cukusic et al, 2014).

Peer-assessment give learners the opportunity to look at the work of others, and apply evaluation criteria to it. This not only provides feedback to the learner who is being peer-assessed, but provides the learner doing the assessing with the opportunity to understand and apply evaluation criteria on work that is not their own. This affords the experience of understanding the application of assignment evaluation criteria in an objective context that can they can then apply to their own work.


Cukusic, M., Garaca, Z., & Jadric, M. (2014). Online self-assessment and students’ success in higher education institutions. Computers & Education, 72, 100-109.

Regular and Substantive Interaction (RSI)

How This Standard Supports RSI

RSI Dashboard illustrationThis standard can support regular and substantive interaction by providing explicit instructions and expectations, rubrics, models/examples, opportunities for peer evaluation and self assessment, and details on how course assignments will be evaluated, and how feedback will be provided. In online courses, pre-tests, self-assessments, reflective assignments, and peer-assessments provide learners with opportunities to check to see how they are progressing, and can offer learners the opportunity to ask for help, clarification, or review or explore additional course materials necessary to master course concepts, or skills. Directing learners to ask questions and interact with the instructor about their understanding of course materials and concepts, and about course assessments, such as in an online discussion forum, further supports RSI, and is a good general practice. Scheduling specific instructor-facilitated discussion in groups, or in private Office Hours with individuals, to discuss course content, activities, assignment feedback, provide help, answer questions, and/or get guidance and clarification demonstrates compliance with RSI.

Refresh Your Course with These Ideas

General Suggestions

  • Leverage the features and functionality in LMS testing tools to incorporate rich incorrect answer feedback in pre-tests, self-tests and tests,  enhances the learners ability and opportunity to self-correct, and be directed to look further into specific course content, materials, to clarify understanding.
  • Have learners develop a Personal Goals (or Learning Contract) statement for the course, and reflect on how they are meeting those goals at midterm and end of course.
  • Include a non-graded Test Your Knowledge quiz at the beginning of each module that learners can use to assess their prior knowledge to help guide and focus their learning efforts.
  • Include a non-graded Test Your Knowledge quiz at the end of each module that learners need to score a specific grade on (80% or higher) before they can move on.
  • Provide clear guidance on what learners should provide in any reflective exercise, including writing style samples, questions/prompts to consider in their reflections, and objectives that they should be taking into consideration.
    • For example, a Metacognitive Journaling activity can ask students to reflect on what is helping or hindering their learning, what they are learning and how they know they have learned. Coupled with instructor feedback or self assessment and/or peer review can help learners better understand their own learning and progress in the course. This can support learner sense of self-efficacy and scaffold learner self-regulation.
    • Online journals or blogs can be incorporated into online course activities for learners to post reflections on their learning within each module.
  • Ask learners to rate their own participation in the discussion forum, considering questions related to what they contributed, as well as what they chose not to contribute.
  • Explore ePortfolio options. If available, use ePortfolio tools, and have learners post all course work and related reflections there, so they will have access to it beyond the end of the term/course/program.


  • Scenario-based discussion of course rubrics – students are given a scenario (e.g., Jane participated in the discussion by submitting an initial post, but nothing more) and then asked to assess the grade they would give based on a course rubric. Students discuss together. Instructor provides feedback in the discussion, or summarizes the activity in an announcement after the discussion closes.
    • Example: Instructor directs class discussion around the following scenarios to provide an opportunity for learners to practice using the discussion rubric

In this assignment, you will be presented with several scenarios that you are likely to encounter in this course, and I ask you to “grade” them. Use the discussion and assignment evaluation rubric provided to determine the points that would be awarded for each scenario. Post the grades you would award for each scenario as a reply. The purpose of this assignment is to give you experience with applying the discussion rubric and understanding the criteria, so you will better understand what is expected of you in our online course discussions. If you have any questions about this assignment, please post them in the Ask a Question forum associated with this module. You must complete this activity, before can advance to the next course module. I will provide you with individual and group feedback on this assignment by the end of the week. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this assignment, the feedback you receive, of your understanding of how you will be evaluated in this course, please come to our scheduled Office Hour.

  • Scenario 1: In a discussion, student A submits one discussion post. The post was submitted on time, it addresses all the questions asked in the discussion instructions. The post is approximately 500 words long and is pretty well developed. There are some minor APA offenses. How many points will student A earn for this discussion submission? Why?
  • Scenario 2: Student B is very active in the discussion and posts several posts. The student’s first post answers three out of four questions posed in the discussion instructions. The first post is approximately 350 words long. A couple of other posts are about 500 words long. The student’s arguments are well developed, but the student does not cite any reading materials. How many points will student B earn for these posts? Why?
  • Scenario 3: Student C submitted a brilliant assignment that answers all the questions posed in the instructions and is approximately 450 words long. The submission came 3 days after the deadline and the student had not communicated this with the instructor. The assignment also does not cite any sources. How many points will student C earn for this submission? Why?

Explore More Refreshing Ideas from the Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository (TOPR) at the University of Central Florida (UCF)

This Pedagogical Practice from TOPR explores methods and approaches to incorporating self-assessments in support of learner success in online courses.

Use Self Tests to Guide and Motivate Students’ Learning
Self‐assessment can play a central role in learning, revisions and review (Andreade & Du 2007; Weimer, 2009). The self‐assessment process involves a complex process of internalization and self‐regulation, and with implications for research and practice. (Read more …)

Explore Related Resources

Boud, D., Lawson, R., and Thompson, D. “Does Student Engagement in Self-Assessment Calibrate Their Judgement Over Time?” Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 2013, 38 (3), 941-956.
Hwang, W., Hsu, J., Shadiev, R. r., Chang, C., & Huang, Y. (2015). Employing self-assessment, journaling, and peer sharing to enhance learning from an online course. Journal Of Computing In Higher Education, 27(2), 114-133.
Falchikov, N., and Boud, D. “Student Self-Assessment in Higher Education: A Meta-Analysis.” Review of Educational Research, 1989, 59 (4), 395-430.
Zi Yan, Xiang Wang, David Boud & Hongling Lao (2021): The effect of self-assessment on academic performance and the role of explicitness: a meta-analysis, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education.
Raymond, A. a., Jacob, E. e., Jacob, D. D., & Lyons, J. j. (2016). Peer learning a pedagogical approach to enhance online learning: A qualitative exploration. Nurse Education Today, 44165-169.
Zimmerman, B. J. 1989. “Becoming a Self-Regulated Learner: An Overview.” Theory into Practice.
Frank, T., & Scharff, L. F.V., Learning contracts in undergraduate courses: Impacts on student behaviors and academic performance. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Vol. 13, No. 4, October 2013, pp. 36–53.

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