Assessment and Learning within the Framework of Self-regulation
Dr J. Goodman
My empirical qualitative research was conducted in an English independent school where I examined assessments practices in place and explored to what extent the teachers there engaged with formative assessment. Although my study explored the philosophy of independent education and I examined the impact of the school culture on assessment practices in place, in this paper, I focus mainly on theoretical framework and attempt to define assessment, which is seen as an integral part of learning.
As different forms of assessment are explored, the importance of effective feedback is emphasized and, in particular, its impact on future learning. The concept of self-regulation, as a theoretical framework, is highlighted because this concept is considered an important aspect of achieving learning independence. In this sense, self-regulation is seen as self-discovered learning where learners are able to assume a sense of responsibility for their learning, resulting in increased motivation to learn and leading to the mastery of greater learning autonomy. Therefore, I also explore the impact of self-regulation on pupil motivation, an essential aspect of learning, and discuss why proficiency in self-regulatory skills can be crucial to achieving this learning autonomy. I use the theoretical framework of ‘self-regulation’ to support the effectiveness of formative assessment practices in improving progress because at the heart of such practices is active involvement of students in their learning through peer or self-assessment, for example.
In discussing the use and impact of assessments in schools, and in particular assessment for learning, I also make references to business and sports coaching for improved performance as there seem to be similarities between the techniques used in coaching for improved business or sporting performance and assessment for learning aimed at improving progress. These parallels are drawn on the assumption that sports or business coaching is seen in terms of helping others to learn through unlocking individuals’ potential for improved performance, rather than teaching them. As such, both sports/business coaching and assessment for learning, are based on specific guidance to feed forward, leading to developing learning independence.
Thus I conclude that a failure to provide pupils with opportunities to become independent learners can be disadvantaging some pupils’ educational achievement and can lead to pupils’ reliance on external forms of regulation, which could be counterproductive to motivation and learning sustainability.
Key words: formative assessment, feedback, self-regulation, motivation, learning autonomy
Full reference list will be provided with my paper and it will include:
Black, P. and Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards through Classroom Assessment. London: GL Assessment.
Black, P., and Wiliam, D. (1998b). Assessment and classroom learning. Assessment in
Education, 5(1): 7-74.
Boekaerts, M. (1995). Motivation in Education. The British Psychological Society.
Boekaerts. M. (2002). Motivation to Learn. Educational Practices – 10. International Academy of Education. UNESCO booklet.
Boekaerts, M. and Corno. L. (2005). Self-regulation in the classroom: a perspective on assessment and intervention. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 54 (2): 199–231.
Stobart, G. (2008). Testing Times: The uses and abuses of assessment. Oxon: Routledge.
Whitmore, J. (2002). Coaching for Performance. London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.
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