Exploring the relationship between assessment for learning and students’ experiences in nonfiction reading comprehension

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Issue Date
2013
Authors
David, Doug
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Abstract
The purpose of the current study was to explore the relationship between the use of assessment for learning as an instructional methodology and students’ experiences in nonfiction reading comprehension. The participants in the study were from a convenience sample of 23 students in a grade five and six class at an elementary school on Vancouver Island. Of the 23 students, 18 consented to having their results included in the study. The mixed method research design included a quantitative pre- and post-nonfiction reading comprehension assessment (DART) and a qualitative post-survey that asked two questions. Between pre- and postassessment tasks, an eight-week nonfiction reading comprehension instructional intervention took place, focusing on the use of clear learning intentions and success criteria, specifically targeting ‘interpreting text features’. This study confirmed that when students are provided with clear learning intentions and success criteria, they have greater access to clarity of understanding regarding what is expected of them, what they were doing well, and how to improve. The results from the study not only showed improvement in students’ use of nonfiction reading comprehension strategies but also revealed students’ perceptions of how clear learning intentions and success criteria help them to be successful in a learning environment.
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