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Student Engagement in Assessment for Learning

Author Rosario Hernandez
Abstract Student engagement has become a frequently used term in the vocabulary of Higher Education, and particularly among those involved in research associated with teaching and learning. Although the term is a complex and broad one, for the purpose of this paper it is defined as 'the extent to which students are actively involved in a variety of educational activities that are likely to lead to high quality learning' (Coates, 2005, p.26). It should be noted that student engagement in assessment is a novel practice, which is slowly making its way into Higher Education pedagogy. The aim of this paper is to present an evaluative study of student engagement in assessment for learning conducted on a final-year undergraduate class (n=22) undertaking a module on the development of writing skills in Spanish through, a) reflection on written texts and b) the production of a variety of texts in Spanish. The first part of this paper describes how learners were involved in the development of assessment criteria to be adopted in the assessment of their work by the teacher, as well as in self- and peer-assessment practices. It is followed by an analysis of the impact that engaging students in assessment had on their learning, based on the students' evaluation of the module and on a short survey conducted at the end of the semester. The findings indicate that students valued positively the experience; they also acknowledged that engagement in assessment had a great beneficial impact on their learning. Some possible shortcomings are also identified. Finally, a number of pedagogical implications arising from the experience of student engagement in assessment for learning in level education are also outlined.
Keywords student engagement, learning-oriented assessment
Published In ICEP Proceedings
Year 2008
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