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


effectiveness in self-assessment in the EFL writing class?



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Using rubrics in student self-assessment

effectiveness in self-assessment in the EFL writing class?
Analysis of the student reflective journals and interview data also identified five factors affecting the rubric’s effectiveness in student self-assessment, which can be broadly classified into two clusters within-rubric (factors 1–3) and rubric-user factors (factors 4–5). The former refers to the rubric’s innate qualities or features the latter indicates the rubric-users’ characteristics.
Factor 1: coverage and structure of the rubric
The rubric was critiqued for containing a narrow coverage of evaluative criteria. For instance, a student noted that the criteria cover only five aspects of EFL writing, but the rubric has not covered students styles and voice of writing, which can be as important as the other criteria (Student 53, reflective journal).
The students also challenged the quality definitions of the rubric’s evaluative criteria, especially those criteria involving more subjective judgements. For instance:
Content should be the soul of apiece of writing, but I held differing conceptions of the rubric’s explanation of its content category. In my opinion, what matters most in content maybe the uniqueness or creativity of its viewpoints and the in-depth development of those viewpoints, rather than the relevance of its content. (Eason, interview data)
It is also noteworthy that some students questioned the analytic structure of the rubric. For instance:
A piece of writing should be a coherent and organic whole, rather than the simplistic addition of discrete components. For example, how can we evaluate the content of writing without considering its language use simultaneously If that holds true, why should we dissect an organic whole into discrete categories (Cathy, interview data)
It can be summarised that when using the rubric to self-assess their writing, the students had concerns with the rubric’s coverage of categories, the definitions of those categories, and the structure of an analytic rubric.

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