Marzano's Self-Assessment Rubric

Provide students with clear criteria to self-assess effectively
1999 teachers like this strategy
Marzano's Practice Overview

About This Strategy

Marzano's Self-Assessment Rubric is a rubric with specific criteria that supports your students to self-assess on a 1 to 4 scale. The easy to understand criteria can help your students to more effectively self-assess and can help you see how students feel about the content. Engaging in self-reflection and assessment enables your students to better understand their own level of understanding. 

Plan It

Prior to implementing Marzano's Practice, it is important that you strategically plan for implementation by completing the following:

  1. Determine how you will introduce Marzano's practice to students.
  2. Determine when students will engage with Marzano's and ways that you can support them to accurately self-assess. 
    • Think about ways that you can remind yourself, and your students, to engage with this self-assessment.
  3. Determine if students will complete a paper copy, respond via a digital tool, or a technology tool. 
    • If using a tech tool, set up an account and think about the processes needed for students to engage with it.

Practice It

5-10 minutes

Now that you have planned to implement Marzano's Practice, it is time to implement it with students.  

  1. Introduce the Marzano's Practice rubric to your students. 
    • See the example rubric in the resource section below. 
  2. Explain the criteria for each level to students. It is important to make the criteria concrete.

    • Level 1: Even with help, I do not get this

    • Level 2: Help me a little, and I got this

    • Level 3: I just need some more practice

    • Level 4: I need a challenge or I could teach someone

  3. Have students practice using the rubric to self-assess their level of understanding using your preferred method (e.g. a paper copy, a visual cue (fingers), or a tech tool). 

  4. Assess for accuracy:

    • Review student's self-assessment rates for accuracy.

    • Allow students to review data and compare to the level they chose.

  5. Meet with students, as needed, to support them to grow confident and accurate in using Marzano's Practice.

Reflect and Refine

After you begin implementing Marzano's Practice, consider the following:

  • What went well? What was challenging? 
  • Are students self-assessing accurately?
  • What additional supports are needed?
  • What iterations should be made when you use this strategy again?
  • What was the feedback from your students? How can you incorporate their feedback into the next iteration?

After engaging in reflection, determine any changes and go through the planning and implementation steps again. 

Coach Tip

You can use Marzano's Rubric to recommend learning activities. Consider differentiating the work and empowering students to determine the most appropriate learning activity. To do so, have students engage with Marzano's rubric and engage with a learning activity aligned with that self-assessment level. After engaging in the learning activity, ask students if the activity was too easy and too hard and connect this to self-assessing.


Marzano's Self-Assessment Rubric For Distance Learning

Tori Todd
BetterLesson Instructional Coach

Self-assessment is a helpful reflective tool when engaging in distance learning. Use Marzano's self-assessment rubric to support students to reflect on their learning and make choices about distance learning tasks.

Implementation steps:

  1. During synchronous class periods, ask students to use the Marzano's Self-Assessment Rubric to reflect on their understanding. Students can hold up fingers on screen, or type their self-assessment level into a chat feature (such as on Zoom).

    • Consider using a tool like Google Forms or Socrative to survey students. These tools pull together data into a spreadsheet for easy analysis and grouping.

  2. Based on students' self-assessments, consider using breakout rooms to differentiate student learning during your synchronous class period. Students who self-assess at a 3 or 4 could work in breakout rooms to complete a collaborative task suited to this level of understanding, while students who self-assess at a 1 or 2 could stay in the main room to work with their teacher.

    • Consider offering students options for asynchronous work based on their self-assessments. Students can engage with tasks tailored to their self-assessment level.

Special Education Modification

Self-Assessment Rubrics support students with disabilities by providing a safe, structured opportunity to develop reflection and assessment skills to help them identify growth needed in a lesson.

Using a tool like  Marzano’s Self-Assessment to help students reflect and self-assess their mastery of skills, requires significant executive functioning (task initiation, prioritization, working memory, etc.) and written expression skills.  In order to support students with disabilities who have difficulty with independent, multi-step reflection activities, and/or written expression consider the following modifications:


  1. Consider using written, verbal and movement-based methods for self-reflection rubric to give students multiple methods to show their self-reflection to check for understanding. See the "Self-Reflection Tool Examples" in the resource section below.

EL Modification

Shannon Coyle
English Learner Specialist

Marzano’s self-assessment rubric guides English learners with a simple to understand and execute means of conveying their level of understanding of a topic. Teachers are afforded the opportunity to get an inside look at learner’s perceptions and remediate and extend as needed. 

English learners are required to listen and follow directions as well as read, write, and respond during activities. In order to support English Learners consider the following modifications:


  1. Ensure English learners understand the levels. Consider simplified, numeric or color-coded charts or posters on the wall and reference them often. Consider partnering with learners’ language specialist to preview and practice applying the levels for learners at lower levels of English proficiency. See the "Example Leveled Posters" in the resource section below for more information.
  2. Ensure English learners understand all directions for activities in their level before beginning to work e.g., ask for learners to restate directions. If the activities are new to learners, consider previewing or partnering with learners’ language specialist to preview for learners at lower levels of proficiency.
  3. Perform 1:1 check-ins with English learners. Use independent work time to give English learners an opportunity to use their academic language, and learning facilitators a chance to formatively assess content language use, to guide self-assessment and redirect to more appropriate levels as needed.
  4. Provide English learners with familiar reference sheets such as graphic organizers, word banks, sentence stems, formula sheets, etc., to use as needed during activities.
  5. Provide comprehensible content in activities that require learners to read-to-learn. Consider providing home language content as available during independent or technology-based activities. When available, home language content can be a powerful tool in developing and progressing skills. See the "Research and Bilingual Content Resources for English Learners" resource in the resource section below for more information.

Suggested Tech Tools


  • Plickers is a tech tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data using multiple choice cards. Students do not need devices.