Investigating Formative Assessment: Exploring the Impact on the Self-Efficacy and Motivation of Mathematics Students
Del Gobbo, Assuntina
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This is a study of the implementation and impact of formative assessment strategies on the motivation and self-efficacy of secondary school mathematics students. An explanatory sequential mixed methods design was implemented where quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed sequentially in 2 different phases. The first phase involved quantitative data from student questionnaires and the second phase involved qualitative data from individual student and teacher interviews. The findings of the study suggest that formative assessment is implemented in practice in diverse ways and is a process where the strategies are interconnected. Teachers experience difficulty in incorporating peer and self-assessment and perceive a need for exemplars. Key factors described as influencing implementation include teaching philosophies, interpretation of ministry documents, teachers’ experiences, leadership in administration and department, teacher collaboration, misconceptions of teachers, and student understanding of formative assessment. Findings suggest that overall, formative assessment positively impacts student motivation and self-efficacy, because feedback is provided which offers encouragement and recognition by highlighting the progress that has been made and what steps need to be taken to improve. However, students are impacted differently with some considerations including how students perceive mistakes and if they fear judgement. Additionally, the impact of formative assessment is influenced by the connection between self-efficacy and motivation, namely how well a student is doing is a source of both concepts.