Assessment as a student-driven, reciprocal learning process: a recalibrated, social cognitive perspective

Year: 2016

Author: Anna Fletcher

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Contemporary learning in Australia necessitates that students develop the capability to play an active role in their own learning. Yet, the student’s role as an active agent in the learning process has not been fully examined.
Drawing on the notion of assessment as generations informed by conflicting theoretical viewpoints, this paper explores how social cognitive theory presents a conceptually transformational and practical way forward in respect to understanding assessment as a learning process.
The paper pursues two goals. First, it outlines the transformation of assessment practice over three generations of pedagogical theory. Second, it argues that social cognitive theory presents a broadened understanding of assessment as a student-centred learning process. It is suggested that this may be the emergence of a new generation of assessment, in which understandings of formative assessment is enhanced through the integration of intrapersonal, behavioural and contextual influences.
Interview data from a cross-sectional, one-setting study into Assessment as Learning (AaL) are used to suggest how AaL transforms the role of students, from being participants in a social practice directed by teachers, into agents of learning in a reciprocal learning process.
Keywords: assessment as learning, student agency, self-regulated learning, social cognitive theory