how to write a self-evaluation

Written by program assistant Cat Guzman 10F

We’re about one week away from the end of fall semester, and this last stretch of time typically means two things for Hampshire students: final projects and self-evaluations. For many of you, this will be your first time writing a self-evaluation. You’ve probably heard of the self-eval, but are you feeling unsure of what it is and how to write one? They’re crucial elements of your reflective academic progress, and the few you write in the next couple of weeks will be the first set of many to come during your Hampshire experience. But don’t stress it, you’ve got enough to deal with for finals! Here’s a breakdown:

First, here’s a definition:

A self-eval is written evaluation of your experiences and work in a specific course during the past semester. It has three main functions:

  1. It gives you a space to reflect on your work. Taking the time to process what you’ve learned and noticed in the classroom and about yourself is essential in making sense of this past semester.
  2. It reminds your professor about what kind of student you are. Reflecting and evaluating on your own performance as a student in the classroom greatly helps your professor in remembering and evaluating you.
  3. It reminds your future self of the experience you’ve had and the work you’ve done. Years from now, you’ll be glad that you have a written record of your experiences in your first few semesters!

Still confused? Ask your professor! Each of your professors may have different guidelines or interests, so feel free to reach out to them for guidance.

Now, let’s go through the process:

To start off, you can briefly explain why took the course in the first place. What about the subject or course description intrigued you, and why?

Think about your goals: What were they? Did you fulfill them, discover new goals, or did some evolve over time?

Think about your performance: How do you think you did this past semester? Did you put enough time and energy into the course? Would you do anything differently, and why? Did you participate in class, and ask for help when you needed it?

Think about specific work you’ve completed over the course of the semester: What assignments or projects are you particularly proud of? Are there any assignments that you find especially significant, and why? It might help to look to the future and imagine what work you’d actually want to see in your Division I portfolio. (Don’t feel is necessary to mention every scrap of work you did—just highlight and explain what mattered the most to you.)

Additionally, give some thought to these questions:

  • What were some key points or lessons from the course that resonated with you, and why?
  • Do you think this course might be helpful to the rest of your studies, and why?

(Note: This is an evaluation of YOUR work in the course. Only mention critique of the professor, the course, or the rest of the class if these situations truly hindered your performance. You’ll have the chance to openly and anonymously critique the course separately. This is the time to focus and reflect on your growth.)

Extra Tips:

  • Curious about length? I would aim for writing one page (two at most) to adequately answer these questions, and to expand on certain issues. You’re definitely not expected to write an entire paper as a self-evaluation.
  • Once you’re done, remember to submit your self-eval on TheHub under the “Courses/Divisional Evaluations” tab! This is crucial!
  • Make sure to check in with faculty—some professors may have certain self-evaluation guidelines for their course. (I’ve had one particular experience when my professor’s specific request for writing a self-eval for his course was simply: “Tell me what you learned and how you learned it.” Professors vary.)
  • If you have any further questions, make sure to visit campus resources like PARC for more advice and to see actual examples of student self-evals.
  • Don’t stress it! These self-evals can be considered creative reflections on your experiences so far—try and have fun with it!
  • Remember, what you’ve just read is not a mandatory guideline, just helpful suggestions for your self-eval writing process. Ultimately, it is what you make it.

Best of luck in the next couple of weeks!

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