Self-assessment : a means to enhance academic self-efficacy in year 12 mathematics : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education in Teaching and Learning at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand
Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu
Although it is small, it is greenstone
Motivation has a significant impact on learning. Self-efficacy, a subconstruct of motivation, has been established as one of the best predictors of achievement. If students have high self-efficacy they are more likely to perform well, if they have low self-efficacy they are less likely to perform well. If ways can be found to enhance students’ self-efficacy this is likely to have a significant impact on learning and achievement.
One of the major concerns of stakeholders in education is raising student achievement. The emphasis in the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) on preparing students to be confident, lifelong learners makes any means of enhancing self-efficacy a priority for schools and classroom teachers. The NZC also emphasises the importance of student centred learning and developing students’ assessment capabilities. The intention of this action research project was to investigate the feasibility of training students in self-assessment to enhance self-efficacy. The research involved working in one year 12 mathematics class in an urban secondary school, in the North Island of New Zealand.
The results of the research suggest that when students self-assess, their self-efficacy is enhanced. The research found that giving students specific worked examples against which to judge their work helped them to generate feedback, which in turn enabled them to assess their performance. Another aspect of the process of developing students’ self-assessment skills involved relating specific achievement criteria to individual assessment problems. This supported self-assessment capabilities as students felt they understood what was required of them and so were more equipped to meet those requirements. The final stage of equipping students in self-assessment involved training them to self-mark practice tests done in exam conditions using assessment schedules. The study found that self-assessment contributed to enhanced self-efficacy.