Lim, Ye Sir (2020) A Phenomenological Investigation of Pre-sessional Students’Perceptions and Practices of Formative Assessment in English Writing. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis is a phenomenological study of English as Second Language (ESL) students’ perceptions and practices of formative assessment (FA) in English writing at a university in Northern England. This study adopted Carless learning-oriented assessment theoretical framework (Carless et al., 2006) to investigate students’ views and experience of three types of FA: 1) teacher feedback, 2) peer assessment, 3) self-assessment. The study involved six students, one instructor, and two teaching assistants from a pre-sessional program (PSP). The overall aim for this thesis is to examine students’ perceptions and practices of formative assessment when used as a tool to promote learning in English writing.

Three research questions were pursed:
1. What are the participants’ attitudes towards formative assessment in their English writing?
2. To what extent do students engage with formative assessment tools – feedback, self-, and peer-assessment?
3. What are participants’ perceptions of formative assessment in terms of utility of learning?

The study employed multiple data sources and methods to understand the students’ experience and practices of FA. Six students participated in the semi-structured interviews in which they responded to questions related to their attitudes and beliefs about FA, how they used FA to support learning, and the influence of FA in their learning. Classroom observations from two classes, as well as three teacher interviews were examined to understand actual practices of FA and support information gathered from the interviews. The data were analysed using content analysis. On the whole, the findings show that students value teacher feedback (TF), showed less interest towards peer-assessment (PA) and selfassessment (SA). In addition, most of the students read every feedback after receiving, but made revision based on TF more than PA and SA in their revision. Nevertheless, all students indicated that FA was considered to be an approach which is helpful in support learning outcomes.

FINAL THESIS - Lim.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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