Using student perceptions in development, validation and application of an assessment questionnaire

Year: 2006

Author: Koul, Rekha, Fisher, Darrel, Earnest, Jaya

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reports on a two-stage study aimed at developing, validating and applying an instrument that can be used to assess secondary students' perceptions of assessment. In the first stage, following a review of literature, a six-scale instrument of 48 items was trialed with a sample of 470 students from grades eight, nine and ten in 20 science classrooms in three Western Australian schools. Based on internal consistency reliability data and exploratory factor analysis, refinement decisions resulted in a five-scale instrument that was named the Student Perceptions of Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ). The scales of the SPAQ are Congruence with Planned Learning, Authenticity, Student Consultation, Transparency and Diversity. In the second stage, the SPAQ was used with five scales of the What is Happening in this Class (WIHIC) questionnaire, an attitude scale, and a self-efficacy scale. This survey was administered to a larger sample of nearly 1,000 students from 41 science classes from the same grades as in the first stage. Statistical analyses confirmed the validity and reliability of the SPAQ. The mean score ranged from 2.16 for the scale of Student Consultation to 3.17 for the scale of Congruence with Planned Learning on a four point Likert type scale. Cronbach Alphas ranged from 0.62 t0 0.83. Significant correlations (p < 0.01) were found among all the scales used in the instrument, for example, Congruence with Planned Learning was positively related to and was positively associated with all the other scales of SPAQ.