“A Stressful Unknown” or “an Oasis”?: Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of Assessment in an In-Class and Online English Phonetics Course
Keywords:Assessment, English phonetics, students' perceptions, online instruction, ICT, COVID-19, EFL
The sudden need to switch from traditional in-class instruction to online teaching and assessment due to the covid-19 pandemic has posed considerable challenges to teachers, but also to learners. The mixed method study reported in this article compared Polish undergraduate students’ cognitive, affective, and behavioural responses to assessment provided in two practical English phonetics courses taught during an in-class fall semester and online spring semester. The quantitative data were collected by means of an online questionnaire, which consisted of three categories of semantic differential scales referring to the cognitive, affective, and behavioural responses. The qualitative data consisted of drawings, open-ended surveys, and individual interviews with the students. The t-test results showed significant differences in students’ perceptions in terms of cognitive and behavioural aspects. The qualitative data revealed that although the students highly valued formative assessment in the course, the online mode weakened their engagement and interest in receiving feedback. It was also observed that students’ perceptions of in-class and online assessment were shaped largely by their individual differences and learning preferences. The study underlies the importance of using anxiety-lowering techniques in both in-class and online classes, and the need for fostering undergraduate students’ autonomous learning skills.
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