“A Stressful Unknown” or “an Oasis”?: Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of Assessment in an In-Class and Online English Phonetics Course





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.

= 178 veces | PDF
= 142 veces|


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Anna Czura, Autonomous University of Barcelona

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Małgorzata Baran-Łucarz, University of Wrocław

Assistant Professor, University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland


Acton, W. (1984). Changing fossilized pronunciation. tesol Quarterly, 18(1), 71–85. https://doi.org/10.2307/3586336

Alkharusi, H. (2011). Development and datametric properties of a scale measuring students’ perceptions of the classroom assessment environment. International Journal of Instruction, 4(1), 105–120. https://doi.org/10.1037/t03442-000

Andrade, H. L., & Brookhart, S. M. (2020). Classroom assessment as the co-regulation of learning. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice, 27(4), 350–372. https://doi.org/10.1080/0969594X.2019.1571992

Baran-Łucarz, M. (2013). Phonetics learning anxiety —results of a preliminary study. Research in Language, 11(1), 57–79. https://doi.org/10.2478/v10015-012-0005-9

Baran-Łucarz, M. (2014). The link between pronunciation anxiety and willingness to communicate in the foreign language classroom: The Polish efl context. Canadian Modern Language Review/La Revue canadienne des langues vivantes, 70(4), 445–473. https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.2666

Beebe, R, Vonderwell, S., & Boboc, M. (2010). Emerging patterns in transferring assessment practices from F2f to online environments. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 8(1), 1–12.

Booth, R., Clayton, B., Hartcher, R., Hungar, S., Hyde, P., & Wilson, P. (2003). The development of quality online assessment in vocational education and training: Vol. 1. Australian National Training Authority.

Bradley, M. M, & Lang, P. J. (1994). Measuring emotion: The self-assessment manikin and the semantic differential. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 25(1), 49–59. https://doi.org/10.1016/0005-7916(94)90063-9

Brookhart, S. M., & DeVoge, J. G. (1999). Testing a theory about the role of classroom assessment in student motivation and achievement. Applied Measurement in Education, 12(4), 409–425. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15324818AME1204_5

Brooks, J., & Brooks, M. (1993). In search of understanding: The case for constructivist classrooms. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Butler Y., & Jiyoon, L. (2010). The effects of self-assessment among young learners of English. Language Testing, 27(1), 5–31. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532209346370

Carless, D. & Lam, R. (2012). The examined life: perspectives of lower primary school students in Hong Kong. Education, 42(3), 313–329. https://doi.org/10.1080/03004279.2012.689988

Cassady J. C., & Griedly, B. E. (2005). The effects of online formative and summative assessment on text anxiety and performance. The Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment, 4(1). https://ejournals.bc.edu/index.php/jtla/article/view/1648

Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D. M., & Goodwin, J. M. (2010). Teaching pronunciation: A reference for teachers of English to speakers of other languages (2nd Ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Chik, A. (2018). Beliefs and practices of foreign language learning: A visual analysis. Applied Linguisics Review, 9(2-3), 307–331. https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2016-1068

Chudzicka-Czupała, A., Lupina-Wegener, A., Borter, S., & Hapon, N. (2013) Students’ attitude toward cheating in Switzerland, Ukraine and Poland. The New Educational Review, 32, 66–76.

Cotterall, S. (2000). Promoting learner autonomy through the curriculum: principles for designing language courses. elt Journal, 54(2), 109–117. https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/54.2.109

Council of Europe. (2018). Common European framework of reference for languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. Companion volume with new descriptors. https://rm.coe.int/cefr-companion-volume-with-new-descriptors-2018/1680787989

Czura, A. (2013). The role of peer-assessment in developing adolescent learners’ autonomy. Baltic Journal of English Language, Culture and Literature 3, 20–32.

Czura, A. (2017). Adolescent learner perceptions of foreign language assessment: Critical incident analysis. Glottodidactica, 44(2), 25–39. https://doi.org/10.14746/gl.2017.44.2.02

Dennen, V. P., Darabi, A. A., & Smith, L. J. (2007). Instructor-learner interaction in online courses: The relative perceived importance of particular instructor actions on performance and satisfaction. Distance Education, 28(1), 65–79. https://doi.org/10.1080/01587910701305319

Derwing, T. M., & Munro, M. J. (2015). Pronunciation fundamentals: Evidence-based perspectives for L2 teaching and research. John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/lllt.42

Dlaska, A., & Klekeler, C. (2008). Self-assessment of pronunciation. System, 36(4), 506–516. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2008.03.003

Dorman, J. P., & Knightley, W. M. (2006). Initial use of the Perceptions of Assessment Tasks Inventory (pati) in English secondary schools. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 52(3), 196–199. https://doi.org/10.1037/t68629-000

Fernandes, D. (2011). Avaliar para melhorar as aprendizagens: Análise e discussão de algumas questões essenciais. [Evaluate to improve learning: Analysis and discussion of some key issues]. In I. Fialho & H. Salgueiro (Eds.), Turma mais e sucesso escolar: Contributos teóricos e práticos, (pp. 81–107). Centro de Investigação em Educação e Psicologia da Universidade de Évora.

Fredericksen, E., Pickett, A., Shea, P., Pelz, W., & Swan, K. (2000). Student satisfaction and perceived learning with online courses: Principles and examples from the suny learning network, Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 4(2), 7–41. https://doi.org/10.24059/olj.v4i2.1899

Garrison, D. R. (1997). Computer conferencing: the post-industrial age of distance education. Open Learning, 12(2), 3–11. https://doi.org/10.1080/0268051970120202

Harding, L. (2011). Accent and listening assessment: A validation study of the use of speakers with L2 accents on an academic English listening test. Peter Lang.

Huhta, A., Kalaja, P., & Pitkanen-Huhta, A. (2006). The discursive construction of a high-stakes test: The many faces of a test-taker. Language Testing, 23(3), 326–350. https://doi.org/10.1191/0265532206lt331oa

Jacobs G. M., & Renandya W. A. (2016). Student-centred learning in elt. In W. A. Renandya & H. Widodo (Eds.), English language teaching today: Linking theory and practice (pp. 13–24). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-38834-2_2

Kalaja, P. & Melo-Pfeifer, S. (Eds.) (2019). Visualising multilingual lives. More than words. Multilingual Matters. https://doi.org/10.21832/9781788922616

Kalaja, P., & Pitkänen-Huhta, A. (2018). alr special issue: Visual methods in applied language studies. Applied Linguistics Review, 9(2-3), 157–176. https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2017-0005

Kharbat, F. F., & Abu Daabes, A. S. (2021). E-proctored exams during the covid-19 pandemic: A close understanding. Educ Inf Technol. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-021-10458-7

Kim, N., Smith, M. J., & Maeng, K. (2008). Assessment in online distance education: A comparison of three online programs at a university. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 11(1). https://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring111/kim111.html

Lino, A., & Thomson, R. I. (2018). Effects of web-based hvpt on efl learners’ recognition and production of L2 sounds. In P. Taalas, J. Jalkanen, L. Bradley and S. Thouësny (Eds.), Future-proof call: Language Learning as Exploration and Encounters – Short Papers from eurocall 2018 (pp. 106–111). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/ rpnet.2018.26.821

Lozanov, G. (1982). Suggestology and suggestopedia. In R. W. Blair (Ed.), Innovative approaches to language teaching (pp. 146–159). Newbury House Publishers.

McLoughlin, C., & Luca, J. (2002). A learner-centered approach to developing team skills through web-based learning and assessment. British Journal of Educational Technology, 33(5), 571–582. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8535.00292

McMillan, J. H., & Workman, D. J. (1998). Classroom assessment and grading practices: A review of the literature. Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium. (eric Document Reproduction Service No. ED453263)

Osgood, C. (1952). The nature and measurement of meaning. Psychological Bulletin, 49, 172–237. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0055737

Pennington, M. & Rogerson-Revell, P. (2019). English pronunciation teaching and research: Contemporary perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-47677-7

Pitkänen-Huhta, A., & Rothoni, A. (2018). Visual accounts of Finnish and Greek teenagers’ perceptions of their multilingual language and literacy practices. Applied Linguistics Review, 9(2-3), 333–364. https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2016-1065

Qing, L., & Akins, M. (2005). Sixteen myths about online teaching and learning: Don’t believe everything you hear. TechTrends, 49(4), 51–60. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02824111

Reeves, R. (2000). Alternative approaches for online learning environments in higher education. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 23(1), 101–111. https://doi.org/10.2190/GYMQ-78FA-WMTX-J06C

Ricard, E. (1986). Beyond fossilization: A course on strategies and techniques in pronunciation for advanced adult learners. tesl Canada Journal, Special Issue, 1, 243–253. https://doi.org/10.18806/tesl.v3i0.1009

Robinson, C. C., & Hullinger, H. (2008). New benchmarks in higher education: Student engagement in online learning. Journal of Education for Business, 84(2), 101–109. https://doi.org/10.3200/JOEB.84.2.101-109

Sahinkarakas, S. (2012). The role of teaching experience on teachers’ perceptions of language assessment. Procedia —Social and Behavioral Sciences, 47, 1787–1792. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.06.901

Stiggins, R. J., & Conklin, N. F. (1992). In teachers’ hands: Investigating the practices of classroom assessment. suny Press.

Vonderwell, S., Liang, X., & Alderman, K. (2007). Asynchronous discussions and assessment in online learning. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 39(3), 309–328. https://doi.org/10.1080/15391523.2007.10782485

Wrembel. M. (2003). An empirical study on the role of metacompetence in the acquisition of foreign language phonology. In M.-J. Solé, D. Recasens, & J. Romero (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) (pp. 985–988). Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona; International Phonetic Association.

Xiao, Y., & Carless, D. R. (2013). Illustrating students’ perceptions of English language assessment: Voices from China. relc Journal, 44(3), 319–340. https://doi.org/10.1177/0033688213500595

Zimmerman, B., & Schunk, D. (Eds.). (2011). Handbook of self-regulation of learning and performances. Routledge.




How to Cite

Czura, A., & Baran-Łucarz, . M. (2021). “A Stressful Unknown” or “an Oasis”?: Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of Assessment in an In-Class and Online English Phonetics Course. Íkala, Revista De Lenguaje Y Cultura, 26(3), 623–641. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ikala.v26n3a09