92 Self-Assessment and Online Discussion Groups

Guidelines for Structuring a Self-Assessment Approach to Online Group Discussions

“Weimer (2002) suggests, ‘in the classrooms of critical pedagogues, teacher authority figures do not dispense knowledge’ (p. 9). We viewed online discussions as a distribution of power in our classroom. Our goal was to both build community within the program and to foster discussions beyond school teams promoting the development of independent learners“ (Kayler & Weller, 2007, p.138). 


Student Discussion Self Assessment – to allow students an opportunity to reflect on their individual contributions and identify their strengths and areas for improving future discussion participation based on course objectives.


The process involves asking students to evaluate their participation using a scale of 1–5, with 1 being strongly disagree to 5 being strongly agree. Students will also be asked to provide evidence of their ranking with quotes from their postings or to provide anecdotal notes. Students will analyze their online postings based on the following:

  • Postings included engaging questions which lead to continued dialogue.
  • Postings demonstrated a knowledge and understanding of assigned readings. 
  • Responses were not limited to “I agree” or “great idea” but were supported with examples from personal and professional experiences.
  • Postings offered different perspectives for the group to consider and encouraged dialogue within the discussion group.
  • Participation was timely.
  • Postings were well-written, incorporating proper grammar, spelling, and sentence structure.
  • Other Comments



Kayler, M., & Weller, K. (2007). Pedagogy, Self-Assessment, and Online Discussion Groups. Journal Of Educational Technology & Society, 10(1), 136-147.

Weimer, M. E. (2002). Learner-centered teaching: Five key changes to practice, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 



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