22 SES 09 C, Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education
Parallel Paper Session
Sustainable feedback involving the development of student self-judgement skills to enable the student to improve independent of the lecturer is seen as critical for current and future learning (Boud, 2000; Hounsell, 2007; Carless. 2011). Whilst there is agreement on key principles of effective assessment designs (Scott et al. 2011), there is less consensus about how to support the development of self-regulation in learners as an integral part of the feedback process. It is not always clear within the literature what aspects of self-regulatory practice and what necessary subject specific skills are being targeted with students to support learner independence. We do know that an assessment design contingent on an underpinning philosophy encouraging independence is essential in supporting student self regulation “Unless students are enabled, through the design of the learning environment, to develop appropriate expertise themselves, they cannot self-monitor and thereby control the quality of their own work” (Sadler, 2005, p. 192).
This article considers, with students, the question: “What feed-back/-forward practices are most valuable in supporting the development of self-regulatory skills. Self regulation is defined as “a multilevel multi-component process that targets affect, cognitions, and actions, as well as features of the environment for modulation in the service of one’s own goals” (Boekaerts, 2006, p.347).
The context of this study was that of twenty UK postgraduate teacher training students’ experiences of a taught module focused on Masters level writing as one component of their postgraduate qualification in learning to teach (PGCE).
Using Boekaerts’ framework, the researcher worked with the students to explore the following: (1) students’ perceptions of the task and the physical, social, and instructional context within which it was embedded; (2) activated domain-specific knowledge and (meta)cognitive strategies related to the task; and (3) motivational belief, including domain-specific capacity, interest and effort beliefs.
In developing self-regulatory practice in learners, the relationship between feedback giver and receiver is fundamental. The concept of co-regulation is important in this respect and an area that was one of the foci of the research (Taras, 2008).
Informed by socio-critical (Butin, 2005) and socio-cultural (Gipps, 2002) theoretical frameworks, the main aim and objective of the study was to work with students to explore the value of a specific pedagogical tool designed to enhance self regulation within the context of improving the feedback process. Constructivist pedagogic principles underpinned the development of the pedagogical tool, these included: attention to the individual and respect for students’ background, beliefs and values; facilitation of group dialogue; exemplification of ideas through direct instruction and collaborative activities; provision of opportunities for students to determine, challenge, change or add to existing beliefs; development of students’ metawareness of their own understandings and learning processes (Richardson, 2003).
Through the use of such an approach it was possible to consider what aspects of the intervention were most valuable in supporting self-regulation; what aspects of assessment practice impeded development of self-regulation skills as well as exploring the role of individual differences in the development of self-regulation.
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