Title: Chinese Tertiary Students’ Perceptions of Fairness in Classroom-based Assessments During the Pandemic: A Qualitative Study
Stream: Assessment Theories & Methodologies
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Jiahao Liu, University of Macau, China
The raging pandemic has posed an immediate challenge to face-to-face education and classroom-based assessment, particularly for those employing traditional paper-and-pencil exams. To comply with the teaching needs and uphold assessment fairness, teachers have adopted a selection of measures, such as adopting alternative assessment forms and introducing whistleblower strategies. However, little empirical research has been conducted to explore the usefulness of these methods in assuring assessment fairness in times of Covid-19, especially from the standpoint of learners. Drawing on Kunnan’s (2018) recent model of fairness and justice, the author conducted semi-structured retrospective interviews with 12 undergraduates who have experienced the change, to explore what types of assessments their instructors use in times of Covid-19, how their teachers uphold assessment fairness during the pandemic, and their perceptions of the effectiveness of these strategies in terms of assessment fairness. Results reveal that teachers do take care of fairness and justice issues when they are designing, developing, and administering online classroom-based assessments, such as diversifying the assessment forms, rearranging the percentage of formative assessments and summative assessments, and implementing rather rigorous invigilation measures. The results, besides, call for a more sophisticated design of assessment forms to maintain assessment fairness and justice from learners’ perspectives, such as minimizing the influences of construct-irrelevant factors (e.g., typing paces and network connections). Such empirical evidence further supports and validates Inbar-Lourie’s (2017) idea that assessment literacy is contextual- and stakeholder-dependent. Besides, this work provides spaces for reflection for teachers – and for language testing researchers – in China.
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