Teacher and student joint reflection on assessment: A complex but rewarding process

2011

Abstract  Teacher and student joint reflection on assessment: A complex but rewarding process Different proposals on curricular innovation put forward a joint reflection (students-teacher) on the teaching-learning process. In fact, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) (Council of Europe, 2001) or the European Space for Higher Education (ESHE) emphasize that students should play a more active role, and foster the cooperation between the teacher and the student in the learning process. Research to improve teaching standards is needed to face these new challenges. As far as assessment is concerned, this student-teacher cooperation results in a model that is based on the teachers’ reflection on their practice taking into account students’ own assessment (Brew, 2003). Consequently, students assess and self-assess both their own work and that of their classmates (co-evaluation) throughout this process, to end up including the teacher’s assessment. This cooperative assessment (Breen and Littlejohn 2000; Finch, 2007; Johnson and Johnson 2002) scheme also incorporates the student’s evaluation of both the programme and the teacher’s performance. The incorporation of students as assessment/evaluation agents implies a profound change in the implementation of innovative syllabus design. Nevertheless, the intervention of learners in assessment/evaluation is still a very controversial and insufficiently researched aspect in tertiary education. In this study that spreads throughout four academic years, the opinions of 59 students of the University of the Basque Country in Spain are analyzed regarding their experience as evaluation/assessment agents in an optional subject implemented by means of cooperative projects. The participants were 3rd and 4th year undergraduates who were enrolled in two different degrees: English Studies and Translation and Interpretation. In this paper, we will first present the characteristics of a Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) programme implemented by means of cooperative project work. Next, the projects’ structure, the methodology and the assessment scheme are detailed. Thirdly, the opinions of the students about their learning experience are analysed by means of a study conducted after the implementation of the CLIL programme. The participants had no previous experience in peer or self-assessment and had never participated in a cooperative group assessment scheme. However, they did enjoy the process despite finding the assessment procedure challenging. The collected data allow us to suggest some pedagogical proposals which may be useful when developing cooperative assessment models in the classroom. Key words: cooperative assessment, syllabus design, cooperative project work. References Breen, M. P. and Littlejohn, A. (eds.) (2000) Classroom Decision-Making. Negotiation and Process Syllabuses in Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Brew, A. (2003) La autoevaluación y la evaluación por los compañeros. In S. Brown and A. Glasner (eds.) Evaluar en la universidad. Problemas y nuevos enfoques (pp. 179-189). Madrid: Narcea. Council of Europe (2001) Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Finch, A. (2007) Involving language learners in assessment: A new paradigm. English Language Assessment. 1 (1), 39-58. Johnson, D. W. and Johnson, R. T. (2002) Teaching Students to be Peacemakers: A Metaanalysis. Journal of Research in Education. 12 (1), 25-39. Sierra, Juan M. 2001. Project Work and Language Awareness: Insights from the Classroom. In Lasagabaster, David / Sierra, Juan M. (eds) Language Awareness in the Foreign Language Classroom. Zarautz: Universidad del País Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, 181-202. Sierra, Juan M. (2008) Una Programación por Proyectos en un Aula Universitaria: Aportaciones a los Diseños Curriculares de Lengua Inglesa Basados en Tareas. Bilbao: Universidad del País Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea.


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