ERIC Number: ED546874
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
Understanding Student Voices about Assessment: Links to Learning and Motivation
McMillan, James H.; Turner, Amanda B.
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Philadelphia, PA, Apr 3-7, 2014)
This qualitative study examined elementary and middle school students' perceptions of assessment. Individual interviews were conducted with 64 students, with questions focused on their emotional reactions and thinking about classroom and large-scale assessment as related to goal orientation, self-regulation, attributions, and self-efficacy. The findings indicated that perceptions were influenced by both their relatively stable personal dispositions and motivational intent, and task-specific characteristics of assessment events. Results showed that students value assessments, feedback, and grades as a needed and accepted component of learning and school, that they trusted assessment results, and that they wanted to learn from mistakes. Negative reactions to being wrong or making mistakes were generally temporary. Students made mostly internal attributions to efforts for their performance, with a mastery goal orientation. Students most valued fair, challenging assessments conducted close to learning. There was relatively little evidence of self-assessment, feedback, or instructional adjustment aspects of formative assessment. A model of their perceptions is presented that aligns their attitudes and perspectives with achievement and motivational constructs. The results suggest that teachers can improve both performance and motivation by constructing assessments for recently learned material that require student effort for success, include results that can show areas that need improvement, and support internal attributions for the development of self-efficacy. Further research is needed to gain a deeper understanding of how students approach, understand, and react to various types of assessment, and how the effect of assessment is mediated by students' conceptions.
Descriptors: Elementary School Students, Middle School Students, Student Attitudes, Student Evaluation, Goal Orientation, Self Control, Self Efficacy, Student Motivation, Feedback (Response), Grades (Scholastic), Mastery Learning, Tests, Difficulty Level, Test Preparation, Test Results, Responsibility, Attribution Theory, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Semi Structured Interviews, Qualitative Research
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A