NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1164701
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2307-6267
From Inky Pinky Ponky to Improving Student Understanding in Assessment: Exploring the Value of Supplemental Instruction in a Large First-Year Class
Erasmus, Mianda
Journal of Student Affairs in Africa, v5 n2 p33-53 2017
Large classes are a reality in many tertiary programmes in the South African context and this involves several challenges. One of these is the assessment process, including the provision of meaningful feedback and implementing strategies to support struggling students. Due to large student numbers, multiple-choice questions (MCQs) are often used in tests, even though researchers have found possible negative consequences of using MCQs. Giving appropriate feedback has been identified as a strategy to remedy some of these negative consequences. This paper reports on action research in which an intervention strategy was implemented in a large first year Psychology class where Supplemental Instructors (SIs) were used to give detailed feedback to students after assessments. The lecturer first modelled how to give feedback by discussing the MCQs in detail with the SIs and identifying possible errors in their reasoning and meta-cognitive processes. The SIs subsequently repeated this feedback process in their small-group sessions. After each assessment, students who performed poorly were advised to attend a certain number of SI sessions before the next test, and their attendance, even though voluntary, was monitored to determine the effectiveness of the intervention. Students' performance in subsequent tests was compared and the results seem to indicate that attending SI sessions was mostly associated with improved test results. This strategy also appears to encourage attendance of SI sessions. In addition, students' responses in a feedback survey indicate an overall positive perception of this practice. These results can inform other lecturers teaching large classes and contribute to quality enhancement in assessment and better support for students.
University of Stellenbosch. 15A Bosman Street, Private Bag X1, Matieland ZA-7602, South Africa. Tel: +27-833505959e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A