Self reflection before self assessment

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the most bitter.” ~ Confucius

I thought that I would post about self reflection and self assessment as my instructor posted something online for us to read regarding how we are self assessing and referred us back to Blooms taxonomy (I’m guessing we are doing more of a “dear diary” than actual assessing). It got me to wondering if we know how to properly self assess and reflect. We are given rubrics to follow to help guide our self assessment but what else is involved? Am I basing my assessment on the work I put in or the work that’s put out?

I believe that before we can self-assess we need to know how to self reflect on the process and product of learning. Self reflection isn’t easy to do and there are a lot of models of how to reflect depending on what the focus is – learning, nursing, teaching, etc. In PIDP 3250 there seems to be a lot of self assessment  in order to show higher levels of understanding or metacognition. If  I’m going to show how I’m assessing my work then I need to self reflect before I can be objective. Luckily in nursing, from the time you start school it’s all about the self reflection. Here are some strategies when starting the self reflection process:

  • Preparation – when you enter into a new experience, try to identify opportunities for reflection.
  • Understanding – you need to know what the goals and expectations of critical reflection are.
  • Time to stop and think.
  • A level of objectivity about yourself and the impact of your actions.
  • Honesty.
  • An open, non-defensive attitude to the experience.
  • A focus on the deeper levels of meaning – moral, ethical, social and/or professional issues (Branch & Paranjape, 2002) in addition to your emotional response.
    • retrieved from on November 1, 2016

From there we can move to self assessment.  (Rolheiser, Bower, & Stevahn, 2000) tells us “that when students develop their capacity to understand their own thinking processes, they are better equipped to employ the necessary cognitive skills to complete a task or achieve a goal.”  This is a fancy way of stating metacognition which is what learners at our level should be able to do. So from now on, when asked to self assess I am going to sit down and write out the reflective process of the assignment and springboard from there to the assessment phase (and hopefully remember to use the rubric as a guide).  I’m going to use 3 guiding questions for my assignment: 1. What did I learn; 2. What did I find useful?; 3: What could I have done more of or better?

Rolheiser, C., Bower, B., & Stevahn, L. (2000). The portfolio organizer: Succeeding with portfolios in your classroom. Alexandra, VA: American Society for Curriculum Development.

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