YUSUP, RUSILAH (2021) Introducing Dynamic Testing to Teachers in Malaysia: An Experimental Investigation of Its Effects on Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices about Assessment. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
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Assessment is central to the effectiveness of teaching and improvement of learning. In the context of Malaysia, however, it appears that assessment has not fulfilled its promises, as the increase of low-performing schools and the urban-rural performance gap remains prevalent. The concern is, why does assessment “fail” to bring the intended positive impacts on instructional improvements to foster progress in students’ learning experience? Research presented in this thesis argues that it is potentially caused by two factors: (i) teachers’ lack of understanding of assessment; and (ii) the unsuitability of the currently used assessment tools. Specifically, this study aims to investigate the attitude of teachers towards the implementation of the existing assessment tool, i.e., the Form 1 Diagnostic Test (F1DT), particularly looking at their assessment beliefs and practices. In addition, critically reflecting upon the limitations of FIDT, this study intends to introduce an alternative assessment approach, i.e., dynamic testing (DT). Deploying an intervention-control group and pre-test-post-test experimental design, the answers to the formulated eight research questions were obtained through a self-developed questionnaire, the Survey of Educational Assessment (SEA), and teachers’ written feedback. Due to the nested structure of the data, sampled from 862 teachers from six educational zones, the analysis of the questionnaire responses was largely conducted using Hierarchical Linear Modelling (HLM). A thematic analysis was used to analyse the data collected from teachers’ written comments. The findings revealed that teachers still viewed F1DT as a useful diagnostic tool particularly in measuring prior students’ attainment and identifying learning problems. The relationship between teachers’ beliefs and practices regarding the implementation and utilisation of F1DT was found to be strong. However, after attending the educational workshop on DT, teachers indicated a lower level of agreement regarding their beliefs and practices about the purposes and uses of F1DT. Accordingly, this positive appraisal for DT implies that teachers became more aware of the limitations of the information provided by F1DT, especially for the purposes intended (e.g., identifying causes for unsatisfactory academic performance resulting in potentially ineffective instruction). As this is a pioneering study, in terms of its large scale of sample and the employment of an experimental design, it offers novel insights to the field of assessment beliefs and practices and DT application. It therefore has the potential to make a significant contribution in improving professional practices in assessment-related activities and ultimately, in addressing the developmental challenges of the education system in Malaysia.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Doctoral)|
|Award:||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Keywords:||Assessment beliefs, assessment practices, Dynamic testing|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||10 Mar 2021 13:34|