Hattie’s Greatest Effect size: Self Reported Grades / Student Expectations – How we can apply it in the classroom.

Number 1 – Self-Reported Grades/Student Expectations (effect size = 1.44)

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Self – Reported grades or Student Expectations (which Hattie would like to call it now) comes out on top of all influences. Basically, before the students attempt the test, you ask them to predict what grade they are going to get. John Hattie explains that kids are incredibly accurate of self assessing themselves and are their best critics. When students set themselves realistic goals, they then want to achieve these goals and therefore it builds up their confidence. However, we also want to raise that bar and have students exceed those expectations.
Just recently, I handed back my Year 12 students’ their half yearly examinations. Besides the usual grunting and sounds of jubilation or disappointment, the usual discussion was about what mark is considered to be the “pass mark”. Immediately the alarm bells ring out and it had occurred to me that these students had no personal expectations and did not have any goals. Really marks are there to tell the teacher how the students’ are going, not the other way around. In essence, my students went into that examination without any expectations of what mark they believe they can achieve and therefore I doubt they had much confidence in their potential ability.
We need to raise expectations and build the students. Confidence, skills and the understanding so that they can exceed. Doing your best is never enough.


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So how can we apply self reporting grades to the Classroom?

Here are some examples of questions that are effective in helping students evaluate their own learning, work, progress, effectiveness of learning strategies, etc.

First, students should set goals for themselves. Students should be encouraged to write a goal at the beginning of each unit pertaining to the learning outcomes that will be covered. These goals, when written out, help them internalize and understand the learning outcomes. Feedback from teachers to students, and from student to teachers is crucial in the review of performance against the goals. When students do not reach their goals, teachers must provide descriptive guidance on what they need to do next in order to reach those goals. Students must provide feedback to teachers on what and how the teacher can help them reach their goals. After giving them time to reflect, the teacher would collect these goals. Later they would share them to remind students what goals they had set for themselves.


After students have set their mastery goals, for each exam that they take, ask them to predict their performance before they start to answer the questions. Again this is what Hattie (2012) calls self-reported grades. At the end of the test when students receive their actual test result, they are presented with their predicted score alongside. Comparing the predicted score to the test score allows students to reflect on and reconcile any discrepancies between their expected and actual scores. This information not only gives students insight into whether they are meeting their goals on the specific assessment, it also provides them opportunities to continually monitor their progress towards their overall mastery goals.

Hattie explains that if he could write his book Visible Learning for Teachers again, he would re-name this learning strategy “Student Expectations” to express more clearly that this strategy involves the teacher finding out what are the student’s expectations and pushing the learner to exceed these expectations. Once a student has performed at a level that is beyond their own expectations, he or she gains confidence in his or her learning ability.
Example for Self-reported grades: Before an exam, ask your class to write down what mark the student expects to achieve. Use this information to engage the student to try to perform even better.

Hattie also mentions self-assessment and sharing rubrics as a powerful strategy. Recently I had students write an HSC response using Google Docs. When I log into their shared document, I leave comments on notes tabs that refer to a grading rubric which I had shared earlier on. The students can also use the rubric and mark their own work for accuracy before it is graded.

From the example below, you can see that the students included the success criteria as their rubrics.

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This kind of collaboration is so much more powerful than simply having the student responding to a prompt.

If you ever get a chance, search “Ignatian Pedagogy”. The Ignatian Paradigm contends that educating an individual is a process of moral and intellectual formation. This “formation” is the result of pedagogical practices that are presented as a continuous cycle of experience, reflection, action and evaluation (Traub, 2008).

Although the practice is centuries old, I have a feeling that the Jesuits were on something good here. Especially to the point of Reflection and Evaluation. Reflection is a process in which a student is thoughtfully considered an experience. Through this reflection or discernment, the student is asked to identify his or her own internal motivations. Regular, deliberate, ongoing reflective practice is essential in the formation of future professionals. This is brilliant practice for students to set their own academic goals.This may be accomplished through the use of  group discussion.

Evaluation will ultimately determine whether or not a student has met the program’s learning outcomes. Evaluation takes place at both the course and program level. While the teacher is required to determine if the student has met learning outcomes, the student should also be encouraged to evaluate their own experience.

What are some questions we can ask and challenge our students?

Are you satisfied with your learning?, Are you satisfied that you demonstrated your knowledge and skill? , How does your work compare to the expectations on the rubric? With which parts of the assignment (project, performance, etc.) were you most satisfied?, How closely does your work on this assignment (project, performance, etc.) reflect your learning? Were the strategies that you used effective in helping you reach your goals? , On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your effort? , If you were to do this over, how could it be improved? •


For teacher reflection:

What was the objective/standard I was hoping to teach? , What assignment/prompt/project/activity did I choose to teach the standard/objective?, How successful was the lesson?, How do I know?, What evidence do I have? , What percentage of students reached the goal or standard?, With which parts of the lesson am I most satisfied?, How will I reteach and/or retest any unsuccessful students?



Chen, L., Ho, R., & Yen, Y. (2010). Marking strategies in metacognitively-evaluated computer-based testing. Educational Testing & Society, 13(1), 246-259. De Carvalho Filho,

M. K. (2009). Confidence judgments in real classroom settings: Monitoring performance in different types of tests. International Journal of Psychology, 44(2), 93-108.

Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York, NY:

Routledge. Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. New York, NY: Routledge.

http://bobhoglund.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Hattie-Research.Choosing-Excellence.pdf Retreived on 1st April 2017


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