Students' assessment preferences, perceptions of assessment and their relationships to study results

G. van de Watering*, D. Gijbels, Filip Dochy, J.W. van der Rijt

*Corresponding author for this work

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The purposes of this study are to gain more insight into students’ actual preferences and perceptions of assessment, into the effects of these on their performances when different assessment formats are used, and into the different cognitive process levels assessed. Data were obtained from two sources. The first was the scores on the assessment of learning outcomes, consisting of open ended and multiple choice questions measuring the students’ abilities to recall information, to understand concepts and principles, and to apply knowledge in new situations. The second was the adapted assessment preferences inventory (api) which measured students’ preferences as a pre-test and perceptions as a post-test. Results show that, when participating in a new learning environment (nle), students prefer traditional written assessment and questions which are as closed as possible, assessing a mix of cognitive processes. Some relationships, but not all the expected ones, were found between students’ preferences and their assessment scores. No relationships were found between students’ perceptions of assessment and their assessment scores. Additionally, only forty percent of the students had perceptions of the levels of the cognitive processes assessed that matched those measured by the assessments. Several explanations are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-658
Number of pages13
JournalHigher Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

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