An Evaluative Case Study: Reflection-focused Assessment Performance
© Language Testing in Asia 2011
Published: 15 October 2011
This study is an assessment procedure which focuses on the learners' reflection administered as an alternative assessment strategy at a Teaching Language Course, Azad University, Tehran South Branch at graduate level. In fourteen sessions, thirty participants were involved in a progressive learning through reflection-focused assessment and leaner-centred education in contrast to the traditional approaches to education. This inquiry has expanded as a reflective, ongoing, formative, performance and authentic assessment. The purpose is concerned with the worth of an ongoing assessment program as a whole by focusing on the learners' reflective outcomes and making them more reflective, self-regulated and providing the sense of individuality. The results are used to determine whether to continue or terminate reflective-focused assessment at graduate levels of education, and also to help language teachers and learners to be aware of the effectiveness of different types of assessment. The significance of the study is to create an anxiety-free atmosphere for the learners to reflect their knowledge, educational strengths and weaknesses and difficulties and also to assess and evaluate both teaching and learning process by the use of learners' reflections. Providing timeliness feedback, note taking by the teacher and preparing remedial programs based on the learners' reflections and needs are other great significances of the study. The study explores to what extent reflection-focused assessment satisfies the objectives of the curriculum and real needs of the learners and make them reflective. A qualitative design was used to gather the data through triangular procedure: reviewing available documents such as reflective essays, course evaluation papers and teacher's notes, observation, voice and video recording and interviewing. Data were analyzed by descriptive and narrative methods. The findings showed that most of the curriculum objectives were satisfied; participants mastered the skills, grasped the related knowledge, become reflective, self-regulated learners and their sense of individuality were satisfied. The conclusion showed that reflective-focused assessment could be an approach focusing on the process rather than product and also it could work as a viable means to evaluate any level of education.