Perceptions and use of formative and summative assessments in an ESL context

Lim, Boon Sier and Mackey, Alison (2024) Perceptions and use of formative and summative assessments in an ESL context. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Abstract

In contexts where direct instruction and summative assessment are emphasised, formative assessment is less valued and more difficult to implement (Carless, 2012). Studies show that second language teachers also lack training in assessment even though it is an important part of their profession (Lan & Fan, 2019; Tsagari & Vogt, 2017; Weng & Shen, 2022). This study documented teachers’ and students’ perceptions and use of an ESL classroom-based assessment system of a Malaysian private university. The assessment system incorporated formative and summative assessment practices like student self-assessment, standardised assessment tasks and assessment feedback. Assessment guidance for teachers was provided through a criterion-referenced curriculum, test specifications, moderation procedures, tools for student self-assessment and reporting. This study investigated (1) how teachers and students perceived the purposes of the assessment practices comprising an assessment cycle in the system, (2) how teachers collected and used assessment information, (3) how students engaged with the feedback given to them, and (4) teachers’ and students’ perception of the usefulness of these assessment practices. Data came from semi-structured interviews, classroom observations and analysis of assessment-related documents. The findings suggest that the assessment system fostered teacher and student participants’ assessment literacy. They perceived the intended purposes, task requirements and usefulness of student self-assessment, a writing assessment and feedback practices that constituted the assessment cycle. The teacher participants made formative use of summative assessment and to some extent, developed students’ feedback literacy. The student participants engaged with the feedback given cognitively, behaviourally and affectively, with evidence of feedback uptake. By using Bronfenbrenner and Morris’ (2006) bio-ecological model to map the contextual, individual and time factors that shaped the participants’ assessment literacy, this study facilitates further research that seeks to apply or up-scale what has been done to similar or other contexts

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Research Output Funding/no_not_funded
Subjects:
?? no - not funded ??
ID Code:
220796
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
30 May 2024 09:30
Refereed?:
No
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
07 Jun 2024 23:36