Not playing the game: student assessment resistance as a form of agency

Journal article


Harris, Lois, Brown, Gavin T.L. and Dargusch, Joanne. (2018) Not playing the game: student assessment resistance as a form of agency. The Australian Educational Researcher. 45(1), pp. 125 - 140. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-018-0264-0
AuthorsHarris, Lois, Brown, Gavin T.L. and Dargusch, Joanne
Abstract

Within self-regulated learning, learners exercise agency by setting targets, formatively monitoring progress, and evaluating results in ways which inform their own goal attainment. However, in real-world classroom situations, assessment processes can elicit behaviours that are more ego-protective than growth-oriented. Resistance to teacher expectations in assessment can arise from the individual’s need to protect his or her own identity or ego within the psychosocial context of the classroom. In addition, resistance can arise from strategic choices learners make to cope with competing demands on their time and resources. Thus, students may exercise their agency by not following assessment expectations or protocols (e.g. lying, cheating, or failing to give their best effort). These choices seem to undermine assessment validity. This paper shares student voice data from the Measuring Teachers’ Assessment Practices (MTAP) project (n = 46 students in seven focus groups) in New Zealand and the Supporting Student-assessment Success (SSAS) Project (n = 108 first-year university students) in Australia. Both highlight the different ways students resist, subvert, or act in contention with assessment. These data show that students in both sectors do not always act in the growth-oriented ways that educators envision. Students reported exercising potentially maladaptive assessment agency via Assessment dishonesty, Purposeful underperformance, and Doing it alone. These categories were underpinned by three differing rationales: Protection, Strategic prioritisation, and Mini-max. Educators must be mindful of these potential student actions and motives, working to establish psychological safety within the learning environment, and making sure links between learning and assessment are clear.

Keywordsstudent agency; assessment; resistance; student voice
Year2018
JournalThe Australian Educational Researcher
Journal citation45 (1), pp. 125 - 140
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISSN0311-6999
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-018-0264-0
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85042499834
Page range125 - 140
Research GroupInstitute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education (ILSTE)
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationNetherlands
EditorsN. Mockler
Permalink -

https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/8q751/not-playing-the-game-student-assessment-resistance-as-a-form-of-agency

Restricted files

Publisher's version

  • 13
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 2
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month
These values are for the period from 19th October 2020, when this repository was created.

Export as

Related outputs

‘So you can make it fast or make it up’: K–12 teachers’ perspectives on technology’s affordances and constraints when supporting distance education learning
Kate Ames, Lois Ruth Harris, Joanne Dargusch and Corey Bloomfield. (2021) ‘So you can make it fast or make it up’: K–12 teachers’ perspectives on technology’s affordances and constraints when supporting distance education learning. The Australian Educational Researcher. 48, p. 359–376. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-020-00395-8
Catering for diversity in the digital age: Reconsidering equity in assessment practices
Harris, Lois Ruth and Dargusch, Joanne. (2020) Catering for diversity in the digital age: Reconsidering equity in assessment practices. In In Margaret Bearman, Phillip Dawson, Rola Ajjawi, Joanne Tai and David Boud (Ed.). Re-imagining University Assessment in a Digital World pp. 95-110 Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-41956-1
Catering for ‘very different kids’: distance education teachers’ understandings of and strategies for student engagement
Harris, Lois, Dargusch, Joanne, Ames, Kate and Bloomfield, Corey. (2020) Catering for ‘very different kids’: distance education teachers’ understandings of and strategies for student engagement. International Journal of Inclusive Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2020.1735543
Methods in feedback research
Brown, Gavin T. L. and Harris, Lois. (2018) Methods in feedback research. In In A. A. Lipnevich and J. K. Smith (Ed.). The Cambridge Handbook of Instructional Feedback pp. 97 - 119 Cambridge University Press (Anthem Press). https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316832134
Using multi-group confirmatory factor analysis to evaluate cross-cultural research: identifying and understanding non-invariance
Brown, Gavin T.L., Harris, Lois, O'Quin, Chrissie and Lane, Kenneth E.. (2017) Using multi-group confirmatory factor analysis to evaluate cross-cultural research: identifying and understanding non-invariance. International Journal of Research and Method in Education. 40(1), pp. 66 - 90. https://doi.org/10.1080/1743727X.2015.1070823
Creating first-year assessment support: lecturer perspectives and student access
Dargusch, Joanne, Harris, Lois, Reid-Searl, Kerry and Taylor, Benjamin A.. (2017) Creating first-year assessment support: lecturer perspectives and student access. Distance Education. 38(1), pp. 106 - 122. https://doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2017.1299566
Understanding teacher aides’ definitions of reading: implications for classroom practice
Harris, Lois, Davidson, Christina R. and Aprile, Kerry T.. (2015) Understanding teacher aides’ definitions of reading: implications for classroom practice. The Australian Educational Researcher. 42(5), pp. 627 - 644. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-015-0181-4
Analysis of New Zealand primary and secondary student peer- and self-assessment comments: applying Hattie and Timperley’s feedback model
Harris, Lois, Brown, Gavin T.L. and Harnett, Jennifer A.. (2015) Analysis of New Zealand primary and secondary student peer- and self-assessment comments: applying Hattie and Timperley’s feedback model. Assessment in Education. 22(2), pp. 265 - 281. https://doi.org/10.1080/0969594X.2014.976541
'I can sort of slot into many different roles': examining teacher aide roles and their implications for practice
Harris, Lois and Aprile, Kerry T.L.. (2015) 'I can sort of slot into many different roles': examining teacher aide roles and their implications for practice. School Leadership and Management. 35(2), pp. 140 - 162. https://doi.org/10.1080/13632434.2014.992774
Understanding classroom feedback practices: a study of New Zealand student experiences, perceptions, and emotional responses
Harris, Lois, Brown, Gavin T.L. and Harnett, Jennifer A.. (2014) Understanding classroom feedback practices: a study of New Zealand student experiences, perceptions, and emotional responses. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability. 26(2), pp. 107 - 133. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11092-013-9187-5
Opportunities and obstacles to consider when using peer- and self-assessment to improve student learning: Case studies into teachers' implementation
Harris, Lois and Brown, Gavin T. L.. (2013) Opportunities and obstacles to consider when using peer- and self-assessment to improve student learning: Case studies into teachers' implementation. Teaching and Teacher Education. 36, pp. 101 - 111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2013.07.008