Effects of Recurring Use of Self-Assessment in University Courses

By Richard Lopez and Sharon Kossack.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

According to Santa (2003), students who make choices tend to set their own goals and apply themselves. This study followed an earlier one (Kossack, Sandiford, & Lopez, 2006) in which students critiqued a modified course syllabus that they used to assess their knowledge prior to and after a course. Post study written commentaries by the students suggested that the self-assessment process encouraged them to assume increased responsibility for what they had learned. Their comments also suggested pre instruction self-assessment helped them focus on (and set goals for) key course objectives and motivated them to continue learning needed information.
The current study explored the effects on perception and performance when the self-assessment was applied throughout the course, i.e. after each portion of study as contrasted to the original before and after application. Perceived and actual increases in knowledge, alignment of student perceptions with actual performance, and an evaluation of the process were studied.
Course grades for students who used continuous self-assessment showed a more consistent increase across the unit tests and were higher than the other groups. End-of-course self-assessment correlations with students’ actual course grades were more significantly aligned for the continuous self-assessment group, suggesting that students were more realistically aware of their abilities when they periodically discuss the foci of the course. Students’ remarks reflected they placed a much higher emphasis on the nature of and responsibility for their own learning when self-assessment occurred throughout the term.
Further study needs to be conducted on logistical considerations (for example, initial overstatement of competence, possible bias when pre-post evaluation responses were gathered on the same instrument, structure of the questions set to guide reflection, etc.) to identify and remove potentially contaminating factors.

Keywords: Learning Objectives, Self-Evaluation, Reflection, Overview, Self-Efficacy, Content Focus, Progress, Ownership of Learning, Learner Confidence, Instructional Adjustment, Prior Knowledge, Targeted Teaching, Growth, Continuous Self-Assessment

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp.203-216. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 643.116KB).

Dr. Richard Lopez

Associate Professor, College of Education, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA

Dr. Richard Lopez is the program director of the Exercise and Sports Sciences Programs at Florida International University. He teaches courses related to electrocardiography, cardiac rehabilitation, exercise prescription for special populations, and introductory and advanced exercise physiology.

Dr. Sharon Kossack

Professor, College of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA

Professor of Reading; Directs at-risk-student-embedded in-school Professional Development Academies; stateside coordinator of a literacy and special education program (Every Child Counts) in Abaco, Bahamas. Reviewer for International Reading Association publications, AERA, and American Reading Forum. Former column editor for Journal of Reading.


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