Chinese EFL Students’ Response to an Assessment Policy Change

  • Qiuxian Chen
  • Lyn May


The relationship between assessment and learning has been an enduring focus of research in educational contexts (Broadfoot, 2007). There is now a consensus that assessment and student learning are mutually and inextricably linked: it is clear that assessment shapes students’ learning. This has been amply documented in research from a variety of educational contexts. Crooks (1988), for instance, in an extensive review, suggests that assessment plays a key role in influencing students’ learning in multiple aspects, which range from the ability to retain and apply what has been learned to the development of students’ self-efficacy as learners. Assessment was found to have considerable impact on how educational courses are perceived (Marton & Säljö, 1997), conditioning learning goals (Boud & Falchikov, 2007), shaping students’ approaches to their learning (Ramsden, 2003), deciding on the quality of the learning outcomes (Biggs, 1999) and even the development of the students’ future learning (Struyven, Dochy, Janssens, Schelfhout & Gielen, 2006). It is therefore unsurprising that assessment has been used in many educational contexts by policy makers as a “tool” (Hamilton, 2003) to effect changes in pedagogy and learning. This use has become more pronounced in the past decade, as the development of assessment theory has brought formative assessment and its potential to enhance learning into focus (Carless, 2011; Ross, 2008).


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© Qiuxian Chen and Lyn May 2016

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  • Qiuxian Chen
  • Lyn May

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