Students’ choices and achievement in large undergraduate classes using a novel flexible assessment approach


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Dono: Marcos Pedroso

Versão: 1.0

Última Atualiz.: 03-12-2018 13:25


A flexible approach to assessment may promote students’ engagement
and academic achievement by allowing them to personalise their learning
experience, even in the context of large undergraduate classes. However,
studies reporting flexible assessment strategies and their impact are
limited. In this paper, I present a feasible and effective approach to flexible
assessment, describe choices made by 2016 students in 12 sections of two
different courses using this approach, and explore associations between
students’ choices and academic achievement. Students decided at the
beginning of the term whether they would use the assessment scheme
proposed by the instructor or modify it by selecting (from within ranges
provided) which assessments they would complete and the value of each
in calculating their final grade. Most students (62%) made some change, but
many (38%) opted to use the suggested values. Students did not choose
to minimise their workload by selecting the fewest assessments possible.
Opting out of a large assignment was the most common change, but the
majority (69%) completed the assignment and almost all (95%) included
quizzes based on readings. Different choices were not associated with
notable differences in achievement: midterm score was the most important
predictor of performance on a cumulative final examination.

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