THE EFFECTS OF ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES AND SELF-REGULATED LEARNING (SRL) SKILLS ON COLLEGE STUDENTS’ SKILL-BASED AND COGNITIVE LEARNING OUTCOMES AND PERCEPTIONS OF ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING

Open Access
Author:
Mao, Jin
Graduate Program:
Instructional Systems
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
December 11, 2007
Committee Members:
  • Kyle Leonard Peck, Committee Chair
  • Priya Sharma, Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
  • Jonathan P Mathews, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Assessment
Abstract:
Research shows that involving students in assessment may help improve students’ learning, engagement, and thinking skills, but it may also be a challenge for both educators and students. Few research studies have investigated the role of individual differences such as students’ personalities, learning styles, self-efficacy, motivation, and self-regulation in assessment processes that involve students. This study investigated (a) the effects of instructor/teaching assistant assessment, self-assessment, peer assessment, and levels of self-regulated learning (SRL) skills on students’ skill-based and cognitive learning outcomes; (b) the changes in students’ perceptions of assessment for learning after the treatment sessions; (c) the effects of essay rewriting/assessment experience and levels of SRL skills on students’ collaborative writing. In this study, the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) (Pintrich, Smith, et al., 1991) was used to measure students’ SRL skills. An interactive Essay Grading & Feedback Tool was created for the purpose of providing automatic feedback, with both text and grades, to the participants in self- and peer assessment groups for their essay assessment and rewriting. Two versions of the Essay Grading and Feedback Tool were used: one generated the correctional or reinforcing feedback (labeled as I type of feedback), while the other generated didactic or suggestive feedback (labeled as D type of feedback). Subgroups in self- and peer assessment groups used the two different versions of the tool respectively, and the subgroups are referred to as SI, SD, PI, and PD. A self-reported questionnaire was used to measure the participants’ perceptions of assessment for learning. ii A total of 264 participants were included in the final data analysis. Factorial MANOVA was performed to test the effectiveness of assessment strategies and levels of SRL skills. No significant differences were found in student cognitive and skill-based learning outcomes when students had different assessment strategies. There was no interaction between assessment strategies and students’ SRL skills. Mixed factorial ANOVA was conducted to test hypotheses about the participants’ perception change after the essay rewriting/assessment process. There was a statistically significant difference in student general perceptions of assessment for learning. For participants with low MSLQ, self-assessment group (SD—self-assessment strategy with didactic/suggestive feedback) showed the biggest change in perceptions after the treatment sessions when compared with the control (TA) group. A significant main effect of assessment strategies was found in the participants’ collaborative writing process. No interaction was found between the assessment strategies and SRL skills. The findings about the assessment strategies having no significant effect on student cognitive and skill-based learning outcomes are not surprising with further reflection on the research process and some self- and peer assessment literature that investigates similar learning outcomes. This study found an overall improvement in perceptions of assessment for learning for all groups. The finding about collaborative writing indicates that from a process versus outcome perspective, the benefits of self- or peer assessment are more likely to show in processes rather than in immediate outcomes. Limitations of the study, implications for instructional designers, and recommendations for future research are discussed.