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postgraduate thesis: Understanding students' responses to classroom English assessment in the Chinese high school context

TitleUnderstanding students' responses to classroom English assessment in the Chinese high school context
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Xiao, Y. [肖扬羽]. (2014). Understanding students' responses to classroom English assessment in the Chinese high school context. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5194782
AbstractIn recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the roles that assessment plays in promoting learning. Formative assessment is considered to be a powerful device for improving students’ learning. However, its learning potential has been less extensively explored in contexts where summative assessment dominates, as summative assessment is considered to undermine the effective implementation of formative assessment. Abandoning summative assessment completely in real classrooms is not possible; therefore, how to implement formative assessment along with summative assessment becomes important. This study explores students’ responses to classroom English assessment in the Chinese high school context, a context typically dominated by summative assessment, in an attempt to identify features of formative assessment, and to examine whether and to what extent summative assessment can be used formatively. The study chooses to explore classroom assessment mainly from the perspectives of students, as they are a critical factor in the learning process. A qualitative approach was adopted to investigate this topic in five classes from two high schools in China. Participants were six teachers teaching five different classes and their forty-eight secondary students (aged 16-18). Data were collected from multiple sources, including classroom observations, the draw-a-picture technique and interviews. The study identified various assessments in classrooms, from informal ones integrated into the classroom teaching to formal tests. This thesis focuses on the three most prominent assessments in the two schools: oral presentations, dictation, and tests and related test follow-up. The in-depth exploration of these three methods reveals students’ affective responses to assessment and their understandings of the relationship between assessment and learning. Assessment was found to be an emotionally charged issue, and students responded to it with both negative and positive feelings. The complex roles of assessment have also been unraveled. At the informal end, students did not distinguish clearly between assessment and learning activities. At the formal end, tests were considered to be a tool to summarize students’ language learning achievement; and there was also the potential to use summative tests formatively, in particular through test follow-up. On the basis of the findings presented in the thesis, this study identifies three key related issues which form the framework of this research, namely, assessment tasks, feedback or judgment, and potential follow-up actions. This framework presents the assessment process and how assessment could be used to improve student learning. Central to this framework is students’ active engagement with assessment. The significance of this study is threefold. First, it contributes to the theoretical understanding of formative assessment, including the potential variations of classroom assessment and the potential interplay between formative and summative assessment. Second, it provides insights into students’ responses to assessment, including their affective responses, what they perceive assessments are, how and to what extent assessments contribute to their learning and factors affecting their perceptions. Finally, situated in a context dominated by high-stakes tests, this study uses empirical evidence to develop a contextual perspective of formative assessment; hence, the findings enrich our knowledge about implementing formative assessment in a context dominated by summative assessment.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectEducational tests and measurements - China
English language - Study and teaching (Secondary) - China
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/197545

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorCarless, DR-
dc.contributor.advisorDeneen, CC-
dc.contributor.authorXiao, Yangyu-
dc.contributor.author肖扬羽-
dc.date.accessioned2014-05-27T23:16:43Z-
dc.date.available2014-05-27T23:16:43Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationXiao, Y. [肖扬羽]. (2014). Understanding students' responses to classroom English assessment in the Chinese high school context. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5194782-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/197545-
dc.description.abstractIn recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the roles that assessment plays in promoting learning. Formative assessment is considered to be a powerful device for improving students’ learning. However, its learning potential has been less extensively explored in contexts where summative assessment dominates, as summative assessment is considered to undermine the effective implementation of formative assessment. Abandoning summative assessment completely in real classrooms is not possible; therefore, how to implement formative assessment along with summative assessment becomes important. This study explores students’ responses to classroom English assessment in the Chinese high school context, a context typically dominated by summative assessment, in an attempt to identify features of formative assessment, and to examine whether and to what extent summative assessment can be used formatively. The study chooses to explore classroom assessment mainly from the perspectives of students, as they are a critical factor in the learning process. A qualitative approach was adopted to investigate this topic in five classes from two high schools in China. Participants were six teachers teaching five different classes and their forty-eight secondary students (aged 16-18). Data were collected from multiple sources, including classroom observations, the draw-a-picture technique and interviews. The study identified various assessments in classrooms, from informal ones integrated into the classroom teaching to formal tests. This thesis focuses on the three most prominent assessments in the two schools: oral presentations, dictation, and tests and related test follow-up. The in-depth exploration of these three methods reveals students’ affective responses to assessment and their understandings of the relationship between assessment and learning. Assessment was found to be an emotionally charged issue, and students responded to it with both negative and positive feelings. The complex roles of assessment have also been unraveled. At the informal end, students did not distinguish clearly between assessment and learning activities. At the formal end, tests were considered to be a tool to summarize students’ language learning achievement; and there was also the potential to use summative tests formatively, in particular through test follow-up. On the basis of the findings presented in the thesis, this study identifies three key related issues which form the framework of this research, namely, assessment tasks, feedback or judgment, and potential follow-up actions. This framework presents the assessment process and how assessment could be used to improve student learning. Central to this framework is students’ active engagement with assessment. The significance of this study is threefold. First, it contributes to the theoretical understanding of formative assessment, including the potential variations of classroom assessment and the potential interplay between formative and summative assessment. Second, it provides insights into students’ responses to assessment, including their affective responses, what they perceive assessments are, how and to what extent assessments contribute to their learning and factors affecting their perceptions. Finally, situated in a context dominated by high-stakes tests, this study uses empirical evidence to develop a contextual perspective of formative assessment; hence, the findings enrich our knowledge about implementing formative assessment in a context dominated by summative assessment.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshEducational tests and measurements - China-
dc.subject.lcshEnglish language - Study and teaching (Secondary) - China-
dc.titleUnderstanding students' responses to classroom English assessment in the Chinese high school context-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5194782-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5194782-

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