Interviews were held with 126 Year 10 and 23 Year 11 students to obtain a description of the knowledge that students had about the way they were assessed. Data was obtained about the grades the students received, or expected to receive. The students also completed the same attitude scales in both sets of interviews. The most suitable criterion for analysing the Year 11 interview data was found to be the changes in assignment grades between Year 10 and Year 11. The criterion was verified by analysing the attitudinal data. Changes in attitude, based on relative grade changes, showed that the most negative attitude changes occurred with students who had obtained higher grades in Year 10 than they had in Year 11. The differences in grading practices between the high schools and the secondary college meant that the majority of students obtained lower grades in Year 11 than they did in Year 10. Students were found to have a selective knowledge of the assessment system with the most "academically successful" students knowing more about the assessment system than the "academically less successful". Two underlying constructs, communication and realism, are used in an attempt to explain the data. The approach of asking students about assessment is recommended for use an evaluative tool in curriculum development.
|Date of Award||1984|