Summary in English
Within the frame of the research project ARK&APP (2013–2015) two quantitative surveys and 12 qualitative case studies are conducted. The present case study is the second of three case studies in English. Three research questions guide the study:
- How are educational resources used in teaching practices?
- What role do various educational resources play in interactions between students and their teacher?
- How do educational resources foster engagement and learning among students?
This case study is from an upper secondary school (high school) in Norway, involving five classes of English as a second language, following an academic specialization. Focus is on multiple approaches to organize formative assessment to supplement the teacher and the learning resources. The English high school curriculum is devoted to reading and writing English texts. Reading is from chapters of a textbook and writing by using computer and word processing software to write small essays on assigned topics.
We observed two classes of students, who wrote an essay on the topic of English as a global language, through three iterations before submitting to teacher for final grading. Each group was exposed to a different strategy of formative assessment of the essays. A computer program, EssayCritic (EC), generated automated, adaptive feedback to one of the groups, and the other group used peer feedback. We compared the results of grades and the writing process. Both groups increased their grades by an average of 2 points on a 6-point scale from a pretest (first version of essay without feedback) to a posttest (final version submitted to teacher for grading, receiving two rounds of intermediate feedback). There was no significant difference between the two groups, using statistical methods across grades. The differences became apparent when we analyzed the qualitative data on the students’ writing process. The essays of the EC group were richer in content, whereas the essays of the peer assessment group had fewer details, but were better organized, thus compensating for lack of richness. This can be explained by the automated feedback being better adapted to the individual students needs based on what they had already written, more to the point and goal oriented (what to write about next). The other group gave feedback formulated as personal impressions of what they thought should be part of the essay by referring to a score sheet and set of subthemes, but being more focused on problematizing what had been written instead of pointing out what could be written.