Using rubrics in student self-assessment: student perceptions in the English as a foreign language writing context



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Using rubrics in student self-assessment

Introduction
Defined as a coherent set of criteria for students work that includes descriptions of levels of performance quality on the criteria (Brookhart
2013
, 4), rubrics have three essential features evaluative criteria, quality definitions of those criteria and a scoring strategy (Popham
1997
; Reddy and Andrade
2010
). Rubrics are particularly important to performance assessment such as speaking and writing (Lane and Tierney
2008
; Sadler
2009
), where there is no single corrector best answer, as opposed to multiple-choice tests (Messick
1996
). Rubrics can be applied as both summative (also evaluative) and formative (also instructional) instruments (Andrade
2005
; Jonsson and Svingby
2007
). As an evaluative tool, rubrics can be used to improve the efficiency of teachers grading of student work, helping them justify the scores assigned to student performance (Andrade
2000
). As an instructional tool, rubrics are powerful tools for facilitating student self- and peer assessment, especially for aiding them to generate self and peer feedback (Jonsson and Svingby
2007
). The present study explores students perceptions of the rubric’s role in self-assessment when it is used as an instructional tool.
Self-assessment refers to the qualitative assessment of the learning process, and of its final product, realised on the basis of pre-established criteria (Panadero
2011
, 78). Self-assessment is a key component of self-regulated learning (Panadero and Alonso-Tapia
2013
), which is defined as ‘self-generated
KEYWORDS
rubric; self-assessment; student perceptions eFl writing 2016 informa uK limited, trading as taylor & Francis group
CONTACT
Weiqiang Wang wilburwong@gdufs.edu.cn, wilburwong2008@qq.com


2 W. WANG
thoughts, feelings, and actions that are planned and cyclically adapted to the attainment of personal goals (Zimmerman
2000
, 14). The regular practices of self-assessment may enhance students ability to assess their own work and thereby improve their self-regulated learning skills (Panadero, Jonsson, and Strijbos Effective implementation of self-assessment requires that assessment criteria, which may take the form of rubrics or scripts, be shared with students before the learning processes, so that students have clear understandings of the learning goals and can plan their work correspondingly (Panadero and
Alonso-Tapia
2013
; Panadero, Jonsson, and Strijbos
2016
). Panadero and Alonso-Tapia (
2013
) explicated how self-assessment impacts on the three phases of Zimmerman and Moylan’s (
2009
) cyclic model of self-regulated learning forethought, performance and self-reflection. In the forethought phase, students can analyse the task, use assessment criteria to set realistic goals for task performance and identify the strategies for task completion. During the performance phase, students can use the criteria to monitor their works-in-progress. In the self-reflection phase, students can check their learning product against the criteria. Given the importance of assessment criteria to self-assessment, and the relationship between self-assessment and self-regulated learning, it is worth exploring what self-regulated learning processes maybe activated by students rubric use in self-assessment.

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