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International Journal
of
Learning, Teaching
And
Educational Research
p-ISSN:
1694-2493
e-ISSN:
1694-2116
IJLTER.ORG
Vol.22 No.7
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
(IJLTER)
Vol. 22, No. 7 (July 2023)
Print version: 1694-2493
Online version: 1694-2116
IJLTER
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research (IJLTER)
Vol. 22, No. 7
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Society for Research and Knowledge Management
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational
Research is a peer-reviewed open-access journal which has been
established for the dissemination of state-of-the-art knowledge in the
fields of learning, teaching and educational research.
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The main objective of this journal is to provide a platform for educators,
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management issues, educational case studies, etc.
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Research is indexed in Scopus since 2018. The Journal is also indexed in
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a unique DOI number.
Foreword
We are very happy to publish this issue of the International Journal of
Learning, Teaching and Educational Research.
The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational
Research is a peer-reviewed open-access journal committed to
publishing high-quality articles in the field of education. Submissions
may include full-length articles, case studies and innovative solutions to
problems faced by students, educators and directors of educational
organisations. To learn more about this journal, please visit the website
http://www.ijlter.org.
We are grateful to the editor-in-chief, members of the Editorial Board
and the reviewers for accepting only high quality articles in this issue.
We seize this opportunity to thank them for their great collaboration.
The Editorial Board is composed of renowned people from across the
world. Each paper is reviewed by at least two blind reviewers.
We will endeavour to ensure the reputation and quality of this journal
with this issue.
Editors of the July 2023 Issue
VOLUME 22 NUMBER 7 July 2023
Table of Contents
Assessment Literacy, Current Assessment Practices and Future Training: Reflections of Teachers in Higher
Education.................................................................................................................................................................................1
Sophia Gaikwad, Ashwini Wadegaonkar, Gargee Mitra, Devjani Chakravarty
Principals’ Leadership Orientation and Students’ Academic Performance in Secondary Schools of Gedeo Zone,
Ethiopia .................................................................................................................................................................................. 30
RJ (Nico) Botha, Seyoum Gari Aleme
Chinese University English-Major Students’ Attitude Toward Literature Circles and Literature Reading............. 52
Lei Ma, Lilliati Ismail, Norzihani Saharuddin
Performance Analysis Towards Excellent Schools........................................................................................................... 70
Abednego Abednego, Patrisius Rahabav, John Rafafy Batlolona
Experiences of Student-Teachers: Implications for Refined Student-Support.............................................................. 87
Adesegun Olayide Odutayo, Sarita Ramsaroop
Stakeholders’ Perspectives of Early Childhood Education Language and Literacy Laboratories in the United Arab
Emirates................................................................................................................................................................................ 104
Aysha AlShamsi, Phil Quirke
Challenges and Opportunities of AI-Assisted Learning: A Systematic Literature Review on the Impact of
ChatGPT Usage in Higher Education .............................................................................................................................. 122
Alfonso Renato Vargas-Murillo, Ilda Nadia Monica de la Asuncion Pari-Bedoya, Francisco de Jesús Guevara-Soto
Project-based Learning to Promote Learner Autonomy in Training Hospitality Education at a Technical and
Vocational Education and Training College ................................................................................................................... 136
Shawn Lourens Green, Elizabeth Catharina (Elize) du Plessis
Implementation of Strategy Instruction in Teaching English as a Foreign Language: A Systematic Review ........ 156
Li Su, Nooreen Noordin, Joanna Joseph Jeyaraj
Stakeholders’ Perceptions of Teaching and Technological Skills in EFL Vocabulary Instruction: Implications for
Remote Learning.................................................................................................................................................................173
Paul Gonzalez-Torres, Paola Cabrera-Solano, Luz Castillo-Cuesta
Self-Instructional Teaching Internship Module: An Evaluation................................................................................... 193
Imelda C. Montalbo, Maria Nancy Quinco-Cadosales, Angeline M. Pogoy, Jo Ann M. Petancio
The Role of Multi-dimensional Curriculum Design in Improving Higher-Order Thinking Skills.......................... 219
Anita Yosepha, Mohammad Ali, Dinn Wahyudin, Rusman Rusman
GO-DEEP: A Potential Reflection Model for Experiential Learning............................................................................ 240
Ngoc Thi-Nhu Bui, Pratchayapong Yasri
An Investigation into the Benefits and Challenges of International Student Exchange Programs: Perspectives
from Student Teachers ....................................................................................................................................................... 258
Huynh Thi Thuy Diem, Mai Phuc Thinh, Tran Thi Mung
Application of the Chatbot in University Education: A Bibliometric Analysis of Indexed Scientific Production in
SCOPUS, 2013-2023 ............................................................................................................................................................ 281
Omar Chamorro-Atalaya, Soledad Olivares-Zegarra, Lisle Sobrino-Chunga, Rosemary Guerrero-Carranza, Ademar Vargas-
Diaz, Madison Huarcaya-Godoy, José Rasilla-Rovegno, Raul Suarez-Bazalar, Jorge Poma-Garcia, Yreneo Cruz-Telada
Applying E-Writing Therapy to Improve Mental Wellbeing among Malaysian University Students Following the
COVID-19 Pandemic .......................................................................................................................................................... 305
Ying Qin Tee, Kee Pau, Mahmoud Danaee
Effectiveness of a Mixed Methods-Based Literacy Program in Improving Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary
Mastery, and Reading Fluency Skills of Early Grade Students .................................................................................... 324
Indah Nurmahanani
A Conceptual Analysis of What it Means to Decolonize the Curriculum................................................................... 344
Bunmi Isaiah Omodan, Pretty Thandiswa Mpiti, Nomxolisi Mtsi
The Impact of Project-Based and Experiential Learning Integration on Pre-Service Teacher Achievement in
Evaluation and Assessment............................................................................................................................................... 356
Apantee Poonputta
Teachers’ Professional Development and Pedagogical Shift towards Dialogic Teaching in Malaysian Lower
Secondary ESL Classrooms ............................................................................................................................................... 371
Sheila Adelina Ramasamy, Azlin Zaiti Zainal
Critical Factors for Enhancing Students’ Collaborative Learning Experiences in a Project-based Connectivism
Learning Environment....................................................................................................................................................... 388
Fui Theng Leow, Mai Neo
Innovation in Early Reading Instruction: The Development of e-Learning Materials in Mother Tongue.............. 411
J-Roel B. Semilla, Venus R. Parmisana, Loreta L. Fajardo, Ruben L. Abucayon, Angeline P. Dinoro, Josefina M. Tabudlong
Empowering Children through Sex Education: A Study on Kindergarten Policies in Indonesia............................ 434
Munir Yusuf, Firman Firman, Hasriadi Hasriadi, Mirnawati Mirnawati
Contributions and Partnership Strategies of External Stakeholders in the Implementation of the Alternative
Learning System in Bontoc District: Insights from Teachers ........................................................................................ 454
Johnny P. Cayabas, Christie Lynne C. Codod, Delia A. Sumeg-ang, Elizabeth Lacaben
Faculty Members’ Awareness of Artificial Intelligence and Its Relationship to Technology Acceptance and Digital
Competencies at King Faisal University.......................................................................................................................... 473
Sherif Adel Gaber, Hussein Ahmed Shahat, Ibrahim Abdullah Alkhateeb, Sumaia Attia Al Hasan, Mohammed Ahmed
Alqatam, Sultan Mubarak Almughyirah, Mohammed keshar Kamel
Enhancing Reading-Comprehension Abilities and Attitudes of EFL Students through utilising Content-Creation
Tools in Classroom Presentations..................................................................................................................................... 497
Pattama Panyasai
Engaging English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Students through the Game-Based Learning Approach in Higher
Education............................................................................................................................................................................. 517
Cesar Ochoa-Cueva, Luz Castillo-Cuesta, Paola Cabrera-Solano
A Survey of Mathematics Pre-Service Teachers' End-of-Teaching Practice Reflections of Educational Contexts.535
Benjamin Tatira
Flipped Direct Instruction (FDI): A New Practicum Learning Model in Vocational Education .............................. 547
Akrimullah Mubai, Ambiyar Ambiyar, Dedy Irfan, Mohamad Sattar Rasul
Mentors’ and Mentees’ Experiences in a Sino-Foreign Cooperative Education Programme: A Phenomenological
Study in a Public University in China.............................................................................................................................. 566
Ying Tang, Lin Siew Eng
Factors that Parents in South Africa Consider in Support of their Children’s Continuous Use of Online Learning
............................................................................................................................................................................................... 586
David Mutambara
1
©Authors
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0
International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
Vol. 22, No. 7, pp. 1-29, July 2023
https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.22.7.1
Received Apr 16, 2023; Revised July 7, 2023; Accepted July 18, 2023
Assessment Literacy, Current Assessment
Practices and Future Training:
Reflections of Teachers in Higher Education
Sophia Gaikwad
Symbiosis Teaching Learning Resource Centre (STLRC),
Symbiosis International (Deemed University), India
Ashwini Wadegaonkar
Symbiosis Teaching Learning Resource Centre (STLRC),
Symbiosis International (Deemed University), India
Gargee Mitra
Symbiosis Schools Central Directorate, India
Devjani Chakravarty
Savitribai Phule Pune University, India
Abstract. The aim of this study is to explore assessment literacy, to
analyse the current assessment practices of teachers in Higher Education
(HE) and to understand the need for alternative assessment practices in
light of teachers’ reflections. The research employed incidental sampling
to select (n=58) HE teachers from a single multidisciplinary university in
Maharashtra State, India. A comprehensive literature review on
assessment literacy provided the theoretical foundation, and a specialized
assessment tool was developed to assess the teachers' assessment literacy
level, perspectives, and practices in assessment. Data were collected
through voluntary participation and analysed using quantitative and
qualitative techniques. The findings revealed that the majority of HE
teachers (79%) demonstrated a moderate level of assessment literacy,
while 16% exhibited low levels and only 5% showed high levels.
Additionally, a discrepancy was observed between the preferred
assessment types of teachers and learners, with learners emphasizing
active participation and real-world applications, while teachers leaned
toward traditional evaluation methods. Participants were found to be
literate only in specific aspects such as meaning, basic forms of
assessments, and the purpose of educational assessments. Furthermore,
teachers minimally acknowledge and have a lesser preference for
alternative assessment methods, such as article analysis, team projects,
case studies, and discussions. Overall findings indicate teachers' lack of
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knowledge about assessment practices that involve evaluating student
performance, fostering collaboration, assessing higher-order thinking
skills, and utilizing assessment as a tool for learning and improvement.
This research confirms the need for training to enhance teachers'
assessment literacy, promoting the adoption of alternative assessment
practices in higher education to optimize student learning experiences.
Keywords: Assessment literacy; Current assessment practices;
Alternative assessments; Higher education teachers
1. Introduction
Assessment is crucial in our rank-dominated system but also leads to high
dropout rates in higher education (HE). Effective assessment practices can help to
identify and address the factors contributing to dropout rates such as learning
difficulties, lower engagement, or inadequate support. By understanding
students' learning needs and progress through assessment, educational
institutions can implement targeted and timely interventions and personalized
support to improve retention rates, thereby ensuring the success of all learners.
India's Higher Education (HE) sector is critical in meeting the needs of its vast
youth population, which exceeds 38.5 million. The National Education Policy,
2020 (NEP 2020), set a target to increase the HE Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER)
from 26.3% in 2018 to 50% by 2035. This expansion is expected to be facilitated by
the adoption of Open and Distance Learning methods. Furthermore, the NEP 2020
is committed to offering high-quality higher education, with equity and inclusion.
However, reports reveal enormous student dropout rates between the secondary
stage and higher education (Ministry of Human Resource Development, 2016).
The constructivist approach to assessments emphasizes that ‘learners are the
constructors of their knowledge.’ It promotes student initiative, self-discipline,
and choice. Furthermore, it encourages learner engagement and provides ample
opportunities for students to express their learning through preferred assessment
tasks. Alternative assessments require responsive instruction, allowing teachers
to make use of learners' abilities to improve the quality of learning.
Reports have shown that there is an enormous student dropout rate from
secondary stage onwards, extending to higher education (MHRD report,
2016). When it comes to educational assessment, the stakes are very high, since
it determines students’ individual learning and sways development at the macro
level. Therefore, assessment standards must be carefully determined in terms of
quality enhancement, rather than relying upon the instinctive judgment of
teachers. To achieve this, assessment literacy must be given due importance in
teachers’ professional development. However, the question remains whether the
current assessment practices effectively indicate learners’ skill levels or whether
they are merely a tool for testing the learners’ memories.
Underachievement in assessments could be a significant factor in inducing
dropout (Can et al., 2017; Paura & Arhipova, 2014). In this vein, the NEP 2020
states that Higher Education Institutions shall move to a criterion-based grading system
that assesses student achievement based on learning goals for each programme, making
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the system fairer and outcomes more comparable. HEIs shall move away from high-stakes
examinations towards more continuous and comprehensive evaluation –teachers will
also have more autonomy in terms of the selection of assessment method. The
questions remains, however, whether teachers possess the necessary skills to
make informed decisions regarding the most appropriate assessment format,
which is a crucial determinant of students' future outcomes.
Assessment in education has a decisive role to play. It measures the learning and
competence of students in terms of their scores and grades while also assisting
teachers with reflective and remedial teaching. In a formal system of learner-
centric education, assessment has a greater impact on learners than the teacher or
the institution. Several factors can potentially affect the output of assessments.
From the learners' perspectives, these could be individual learning styles,
memory, interest, and other psychological factors. From an institutional
standpoint, factors can include the teaching style, teachers’ assessment literacy,
classroom environment, instruments used for assessment, subject, and type of
assessment (DeLuca et al., 2019). Nevertheless, teachers’ knowledge of assessment
is an undisputed factor in determining the validity of assessment.
Assessment literacy can be understood as teachers’ abilities to comprehend the
meaning, forms, purposes, strategies, and techniques of assessment, and apply
them appropriately. According to the Michigan Assessment Consortium (2015),
assessment literacy encompasses a range of beliefs, knowledge, and practices that
enable teachers and other stakeholders to utilize assessment effectively for
enhancing student learning and achievement. It involves having the necessary
knowledge, skills, and processes to design, select, implement, and score. It utilizes
high-quality assessments that contribute to improved student learning outcomes.
In essence, assessment literacy empowers educators to make informed decisions
about assessment methods and utilize assessment data to support and enhance
student learning.
The essential knowledge and performance components are presented in Figure 1
below.
Figure 1: Essentials of assessment literacy
(Adapted from Michigan Assessment Consortium, 2020, pg. 5)
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Traditionally, the paradigm of assessment was utilized as a mere tool for learners’
evaluation. Over time, educational researchers have broadened the dimensions to
encompass ‘Assessment as Learning’, ‘Assessment for Learning’ and ‘Assessment
of Learning’. ‘Assessment for learning’ provides information about learners
during their learning and assists teachers in obtaining information about students'
learning and teaching practices that can be modified to improve learning. On the
other hand, 'Summative and Formative assessments:’ refer to the traditional
summative evaluation process, which provides evidence of students' learning at
the end of the learning period, while ‘Assessment as Learning’ is a self-monitoring
tool used by learners to evaluate their learning. In a nutshell, assessment literacy
is demonstrated when teachers have sufficient knowledge of assessment as well
as the capacity to comprehend its shifting paradigm from teachers to learners and
traditional to alternative assessments. These assessments are to be practiced in
classrooms to cater to learners' autonomy, transparency, and evaluation
preferences.
Studies have found that teachers’ assessment literacy has a statistically significant
impact on learners’ achievement, thus illustrating the need for an effective
teaching environment and motivated assessment design (Mellati & Khademi,
2018). Teachers’ assessment styles, preferences, and actions significantly influence
students’ learning experiences and achievement (Hattie & Timperley, 2008;
DeLuca et al., 2018). In a closed academic environment, it is difficult for teachers
to develop assessment literacy by themselves without intervention. However,
researchers also report that teachers’ knowledge of assessment is insufficient and
argue that even when teachers have a considerable understanding of assessment,
they do not put their knowledge into practice (Nurdiana, 2020).
The emphasis of the educational evaluation system relies on the cognitive
capacities of learners; that is, memory and verbal skills, rather than 21st-century
skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Studies have
identified a disparity between teachers' practice and students’ preference for
assessment. The contemporary approach to assessment focuses on utilizing
alternative methods such as projects, portfolios, and active performance tasks,
which are learner-centric education approaches. Alternative assessments, when
used with the right strategies, can be used effectively to assess learning outcomes
(Adama et al., 2023).
Alternative assessment is characterized as an alternative to standardized, norm-
referenced, multiple-choice testing. It includes student involvement in setting
learning goals, assessment criteria, and even task alignment. In line with the skill-
oriented context of learning, alternative assessment involves the application of
higher order thinking, problem solving skills, meta-cognition, collaboration, and
intrapersonal skills. Furthermore, it follows a constructive approach to instruction,
wherein contextualization in real-world applications, the use of specified criteria
and defined standards of performance (Madellan, 2004) are considered.
Additionally, the contemporary assessment approach also advocates equity in
assessment, students’ preferences for assessment, and transparency of assessment,
all of which significantly influence the achievement and learning environment.
This is based on learner-centric education; learner-centric teaching and learning
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assessment focuses on helping learners to think critically, solve real-life problems,
evaluate evidence, analyse situations and progress towards higher-order thinking
skills.
The traditional practices, based on teachers’ instinctive judgment or preferences,
affect the learning process. Assessment practices must come from teachers’
judgement based on assessment theories, conceptual clarity, and learners’
preferences. In all forms of education, assessment drives learning and, therefore,
it is necessary to study students’ attitudes toward different assessment formats
before implementing a new curriculum (Holzinger et al., 2020). Nevertheless, the
level of teachers' understanding and proficiency in assessment strategies
significantly influences their assessment practices at all educational levels
(Deneen & Brown, 2016). As emphasized in a previous study by Popham (2009),
assessment literacy remains a crucial domain that demands continuous attention
and investment in faculty development, both in the present and future contexts.
Thus, the discussion highlights certain gaps that include the need for further
exploration of learners' preferences and needs in assessment (Holzinger et al.,
2020; Thomas & Jessop, 2018), enhanced assessment literacy among teachers in
higher education (Mellati & Khademi, 2018; Zulia, 2020), and adapting assessment
practices for online learning environments (Dutta, 2020; Joshi et al., 2021). One
specific problem that has been identified is the disparity between learner-
preferred and teacher-preferred assessment tools in higher education (HE). There
is a need to ensure that assessment methods align with students' learning needs
and preferences (Holzinger et al., 2020). Addressing these gaps in assessment
literacy and exploring alternative assessment methods, such as projects,
portfolios, and active performance tasks, can lead to a more equitable and learner-
centred approach to assessment in higher education (Adama et al., 2023).
In the context of a multidisciplinary university within the higher education
ecosystem, the present study aims to explore the assessment literacy of higher
education (HE) teachers. It examines HE teachers’ preferences and reflections on
assessment practices and highlights the disparities between learner-preferred and
teacher-preferred assessment tools. Additionally, the study discusses the
identified gaps, orientation needs, and the importance of training in alternative
assessment methods.
Operationally, assessment literacy in the present research was based on the
knowledge component (Fig. 1), with the perspective of understanding teachers’
conceptual comprehension of the concept – ‘Assessment in education’. Though
this may not be the comprehensive meaning of the term, it includes the essence of
it. Thus, the aim was to assess the conceptual assessment literacy of practicing
teachers to understand their preconceived understanding of assessment with
respect to its meaning, forms and purpose, as well as the strategies and techniques
of assessment in education. Teachers’ current assessment practices were also
considered.
Thus, the present study aims:
(A) to gauge assessment literacy among teachers of higher education;
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(B) to identify the current assessment practices in higher education; and
(C) to determine the need for alternative assessment practices in light of teachers’
reflections.
2. Literature Review
The traditional approach to assessment in higher education is facing significant
issues in terms of its alignment with learning outcomes and objectives. These
issues include compromised reliability, limitations in assessing higher-order
learning, and a lack of transparency in the evaluation and scoring process.
Conventional assessment relies on ‘pen and paper’ types of assessments with
simple measurement instruments such as quizzes, true/false questions, and
matching types, while this remains at odds with the learning objectives and aims
of higher education. Thus, learners’ ability to perform independently or in novel
contexts is not represented through scores and the learners are not informed of
how learning has occurred (Pereira et al., 2015; Knight, 2002). Research suggests
that the most used traditional assessment tools are multiple-choice tests,
true/false tests, short answers, and essays (Dikli, S., 2003). When the traditional
assessment methods are used for summative assessment, the same limitations are
carried forward into formative assessment in the absence of teachers’ assessment
literacy. In response to these challenges, exploring alternative assessment
practices becomes imperative. These can be better connected to real-life
applications, providing opportunities for learners to utilize their analytical,
critical thinking, reasoning skills. Methods include self-assessment and peer
assessment in a problem-based learning environment, stimulating deep learning
and critical thinking (Segers & Dochy, 2001 assessment). These practices offer
promising alternatives to traditional assessment methods, providing
opportunities for learners to engage actively in their own learning process and to
develop higher-order cognitive skills. The assessment must not completely
depend on situational learning or problem-based learning. Considering that the
students’ approach to learning may depend on the type of assessment used,
teachers should employ a diverse range of assessment methods to actively engage
students in the learning process. However, researchers also argue that the use of
multiple methods of assessment may be confusing for learners to internalize the
goals of assessment (Thomas & Jessop, 2018). Different assessment practices can
influence students’ achievement and student-oriented factors such as
commitment, difficulty level, study skills, parental support, and the institution’s
student support system also play a major role (Mekonnen & Besha, 2019). It has
been found that teacher’s assessment literacy also has a statistically significant
impact on learners’ writing achievements, reinforcing the need for effective and
motivated assessment designs (Mellati, M., & Khademi, M., 2018).
Research has also highlighted other factors influencing achievement that can be
explained at the micro-level, meso-level, and macro-level. Micro-levels include
factors such as teachers’ personal beliefs, knowledge, experience, and
conceptions. Meso-levels deal with institution-level culture and practices, and
macro-levels deal with system assessment policies, values, and protocols (DeLuca
et al., 2019). Therefore, the selection and integration of multiple assessment
methods should be undertaken thoughtfully to ensure clarity and coherence in
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communicating the learning objectives to learners. Researchers have also found
volume and variety in assessment methods to be an independent factor affecting
achievements. The modern assessment practice emphasizes learners' preferences
in selecting assessment tools. Holzinger et al. (2020) studied 439 medical students
and found that learners prefer objective question formats (aka Multiple-Choice
Questions) above other types of assessment. Thomas and Jessop (2018) studied
programme assessment data from 73 courses across 14 universities in the UK to
determine the difference in assessment loads across the courses. The volume of
summative and formative assessment, examinations proportions and varieties of
assessment methods were put into use. The study found that research-intensive
courses have higher summative assessment loads and a greater proportion of
examinations compared to teaching-intensive courses, which have greater
varieties of assessment.
Mellati and Khademi (2018) studied the impact of teachers’ assessment literacy on
current assessment practices and writing outcomes using teachers’ assessment
literacy inventory, semi-structured interviews, non-participatory observation,
and Writing Competence Rating Scale (WCRS). The findings highlighted that
teachers’ assessment literacy has a statistically significant impact on learners’
achievement. Furthermore, teachers’ assessment awareness induces an effective
teaching environment and motivated assessment design. Zulia (2020) explored
teachers’ perceptions of classroom-based assessment and the extent to which they
are reflected in their practice. The study involved a survey of 22 participants,
interviews with five participants and documentary evidence of assessments. The
research concluded that the teachers had a good level of assessment literacy and
were aware of the principles of classroom-based assessment, although the quality
of the assessment methods used was questioned. DeLuca et al. (2019), in their
descriptive study, provided empirical evidence for assessment literacy as a
differential and situated professional competency. Contemporary views were
gathered on five common classroom scenarios. The study involved 453
participants to explore the assessment literacy of teachers and examine their
approaches towards assessment in different classroom scenarios. The study
provided empirical evidence supporting the notion that assessment literacy is a
differentiated and context-dependent professional competency. The findings
revealed significant differences in teachers' assessment approaches across
teaching divisions and career stages. The complexity of factors such as teaching
grade, subject, and individual characteristics also influenced teachers' assessment
practices within specific contexts. These findings highlight the need for teachers
to develop assessment literacy skills to enhance their understanding and
implementation of effective assessment practices. In a review study, Nurdiana
(2020) found that some teachers’ assessment literacy is insufficient, while other
teachers have a high degree of assessment literacy but do not put their knowledge
into practice. Khadijeh and Rezaei (2015) stated that assessment literacy is
important as it enables teachers to perceive, analyse, and use data on student
performance to thereby improve their teaching. The absence of assessment
literacy can therefore be seen as a form of ‘professional suicide’ (Popham, 2011, p.
269).
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In the Indian context, researchers have mainly focused their attention on
assessment literacy among schoolteachers, with the exception of a few studies that
have addressed the need for faculty development in Higher Education.
Govindarajan and Srivastava (2020) focus on the potential impact of remote
teaching in higher education, and indirectly touch upon the importance of
assessment literacy in this context. Their article explores the transformative
potential of remote teaching in higher education. The authors compare the current
shift to virtual learning. As the education landscape transitions to online
platforms, it becomes crucial for educators to possess a strong understanding of
assessment practices and techniques that can effectively measure student learning
in virtual environments. Therefore, as the future of higher education evolves
towards remote teaching, assessment literacy remains a critical component for
educators to navigate the challenges and optimize student learning outcomes.
Dutta (2020) explored the impact of digital social media on Indian higher
education during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The author examined the use of
social media platforms for disseminating learning resources to students and
analysed the effectiveness of online classes and e-learning pedagogy through
qualitative analysis. The findings reveal that the lockdown and shift to online
learning have had a significant impact on students, causing stress, anxiety, and a
sense of helplessness. On the other hand, the provision of online classes has
proven beneficial, not only in terms of educational advancement but also for
students' mental well-being. The study indicated the importance of assessment
literacy in online education and suggested the need to be proficient in designing
and conducting assessments online. In a similar study, Joshi et al. (2021) explored
the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and focussed on teachers' perspectives on
online teaching and assessments. Using interpretative phenomenological
analysis, the study identified four main categories of barriers faced by teachers:
challenges in home environment settings; institutional support barriers; technical
difficulties; and personal problems. The findings underscore the importance of
assessment literacy among teachers to overcome these barriers and ensure
effective online teaching and assessment practices. Thus, while assessment
literacy has not received significant attention directly, researchers have
highlighted the need for increased focus on faculty development in higher
education, confirming the necessity for further research on assessment literacy.
3. Methodology
This study employed a descriptive survey design. 58 teachers from 16 disciplines
within a single multidisciplinary university participated in the study. Incidental
sampling method was employed, with selection being based on voluntary
participation, accessibility, and availability. Individuals had the autonomy to
decide whether or not to participate in the study. This ensured that participants
had a genuine interest in the research topic and were more likely to provide
valuable insights (Creswell, 2014; Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2018). The
participation in the survey is presented in Table 1.
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Table 1: Survey sample details
Discipline n Discipline n
Health Science 2 English Language 2
Medicine 2 Liberal Arts 1
Nursing 5 Economics 1
Information Technology 3 Banking and Finance 2
Computer Studies 4 Management Studies 13
Technology 13
Media and
Communication 2
Design 4 Telecommunication 1
Architecture 1 Biological Science 2
Total Sample Size (N)= 58
Where 'n' stands for number of samples
There were 58 participants from 16 disciplines, as presented in Figure 2.
Figure 2: No. of participants according to participants’ disciplinary affiliations
3.1 Tool for data collection
A researcher-made questionnaire (Appendix I) was used for assessing
‘Assessment Literacy’ including both open-ended and close-ended questions. A
systematic process was followed to design and develop the questionnaire.
Tool development: The tool development process included:-
1. Group discussion with a panel of five experts, consisting of faculty members
from teacher education, experienced researchers, and practitioners in the field
of assessment, with the purpose of outlining the scope, identifying key
constructs and dimensions of tools.
2. Designing close-ended questions (MCQs) and framing open-ended questions.
3. Content validation from researcher and language experts.
4. Pilot testing the questionnaire.
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5. Expert validation after refinement.
6. Finalization of the questionnaire.
Nature of the questionnaire: The questionnaire included both open- and close-
ended questions to capture two aspects: 1. Assessment literacy; and 2. Assessment
practices. The assessment literacy aspects encompassed dimensions such as the
concept of assessment, forms and functions of assessment, purpose of assessment
literacy, and strategies and techniques of assessment. Assessment practices
aspects focused on the purpose of assessment, ongoing strategies, learner-
preferred assessment strategies, and teacher-preferred assessment strategies.
The questionnaire was designed for measuring HE teachers' assessment literacy.
Close-ended MCQs were added to retain objectivity and simplicity in assessment
(Ben-Simon et al., 1997), while open-ended questions were included in order to
avoid bias through suggested responses (Reja, U., et al. 2003). Also, they were
used to gain HE teachers’ insights into their current assessment practices.
Thus, the questionnaire (Appendix I) included a set of 15 questions - both closed
and open-ended. The main aims were to gauge the teachers’ assessment literacy
and to identify the current assessment strategies used by the teachers, as shown
in Table 2.
Table 2: Nature of questionnaire
S.N. Purpose
No. of
questions
Details
I Assessment literacy aspects
1 Meaning of assessment 3
Multiple choice
questions (MCQs) -
• Incomplete
statement format
2 Forms and functions of assessment 3 • Scenario-based
3 Purpose of assessment literacy 2 • Image-based
4 Strategies and techniques of assessment 2 • Single response
II Assessment practices
5 Purpose of assessment 1
• Open-ended
reflections
6 Ongoing strategies for assessment 1
7 Learner-preferred assessment strategies 1
8 Teacher-preferred assessment strategies 1
9 Successful assessment practices 1
3.2 Research Process
Initially, a literature review was performed to establish the theoretical
foundations of assessment literacy and related concepts. This involved examining
national and international documents, research papers and articles in the field,
highlighting studies and findings to establish a strong theoretical framework. This
helped outline the essential components for assessing the assessment literacy of
the HE teachers. Subsequently, three rounds of discussion with a panel of six
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experts were held to develop the structure of the 15-question tool for the
Assessment of Higher Education Teachers’ Assessment Literacy and to obtain content
validity for it. The questionnaire data were collected using a Google form after
obtaining permission. The data were gathered using both quantitative and
qualitative processes. This helped to investigate the assessment literacy and gain
insights into the assessment practices employed by teachers. The collected data
were then analysed using basic statistical methods. The findings were presented
using percentages, tables, and graphs to represent the results and help uncover
the patterns in the data. These patterns ultimately gave insights for drawing the
conclusions of the research. The research process is summarized in Figure 3.
Figure 3: The research process
4. Data Analysis and Results
Descriptive statistics were used for the close-ended questions, mostly using
percentage and graphical representation. The qualitative data gathered through
open-ended questions were subjected to thematic analysis. Furthermore, the
quantification of qualitative data was achieved using frequency of occurrence to
understand the trends and patterns for objective 2. The data analysis is
represented under the three sections presented below.
Section A – (For objective 1: Assessment literacy among teachers of higher
education)
1) Participants’ assessment literacy (Tables 3 and 4)
2) Teachers’ responses on the purpose of assessment (Table 5)
Section B – (For objective 2: To identify the current assessment practices in higher
education)
3) Online and offline assessment strategies used by teachers (Figure 6)
4) Teachers’ responses on learner-preferred current assessment practices (Figure
7)
5) Teacher-preferred current assessment practices (Figure 8)
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Section C- (For objective 3: To determine the need for alternative assessment
practices in light of teachers’ reflections)
6) Rationalizations for preferred assessment strategies (Table 8)
7) Teachers’ reflections on successful and unsuccessful assessment strategies
(Table 9)
The major findings are:
1. The majority of teachers (79%) have moderate levels of assessment
literacy, compared to 16% teachers with a low level and only 5% showing
a high level of assessment literacy.
2. Teachers lack clarity in aspects of assessment literacy such as tests,
‘Assessment for learning’ and ‘Assessment of learning’, various types of
assessments, purpose of evaluation, strategies and techniques of
alternative assessments.
3. Currently, teachers vastly prefer offline practices and so training in
alternative online strategies is needed.
4. Greater emphasis was laid on individual performance and knowledge
recall in teacher-preferred assessments.
5. The top three assessments preferred by learners were Case
analysis/Discussion/Presentation (20%), Quiz/MCQs (16%), and Project
(group/Field/live) (14%).
6. Though teachers have been using varied assessment strategies, there is a
gap in teacher-preferred and student-preferred strategies.
7. Teachers are aware of the specific purpose/reasoning for the assessment
strategies they have been practicing.
8. Certain students’ preferences for strategies such as debates, research-
based assignments, simulation, seminar and reflections are not taken into
consideration for regular assessment.
9. Descriptive questions, online written exams, group presentations, open
book online exams and use of whiteboard are examples of strategies that
need training to convert them into successful strategies.
10. There is a need to improve assessment literacy among teachers.
A. Assessment Literacy
After recording the individual scores of the respondents, these scores were
grouped into three assessment literacy levels; low, medium and high. This scale
is shown in Table 3.
Table 3: Assessment literacy level
Assessment Literacy (AsL)
AsL Level Scores n
Low Under 33% 9
Moderate Up to 66% 46
High Above 66% 3
N 58
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The distribution of the assessment literacy levels (Figure 4) indicates moderate
assessment literacy in the majority of respondents (79%), compared to 16% of
teachers who showed only a low level and just 5% showing a high level.
Figure 4: Assessment literacy levels
Data gathered using the MCQs were analysed, as shown in Table 4.
Table 4: Assessment literacy
Assessment
Literacy
(AL)
aspects
Components of AL Component
code
Percentage of HE
teacher with
Correct
response
Incorrect
response
Concept of
assessment
Meaning of a test M 44.83% 55.17%
Individual assessment needs –
altering assessment IAN 58.62% 41.38%
‘Assessment for learning’ and
‘Assessment of learning’ AoL/AfL 12.07% 87.93%
Forms and
functions
of
assessment
Difference between formative and
summative assessment FA/SA 81.03% 18.97%
Function of formative assessment
Fn. 72.41% 27.59%
Various types of assessment T 27.59% 72.41%
Purpose of
assessment
Purpose of assessment PA 68.97% 31.03%
Purpose of evaluation PE 32.76% 67.24%
Strategies
and
techniques
of
assessment
Appropriateness of assessment
strategies A 55.17% 44.83%
Strategies and techniques for
alternative assessment S/T 17.24% 82.76%
Where total number of sample (N)=58
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The assessment literacy aspects have been depicted in Figure 4, shown below:
Figure 5: Teachers’ assessment literacy
The data revealed that more than half of the teachers were not clear about concepts
such as testing, measurement, assessment and evaluation in education. Many of
the participants lacked knowledge regarding alternative approaches to
assessment while the majority of them (88%) were unsure about the essential
concepts related to ‘Assessment for learning’. Thus, teachers lack clarity in their
understanding of the term assessment. Although most of the teachers (81%) were
aware of the meaning of – and difference between – formative and summative
assessment, they had lesser understanding of other forms of assessment such as
diagnostic, norm-referenced, and criterion-referenced assessments. The purpose
of assessment and evaluation was not clear to many of the teachers (68% and 67%,
respectively). Very few teachers (17%) demonstrated an understanding of the
strategies and techniques of assessment, which confirms the need for conceptual
clarity. Furthermore, a lack of clarity on the appropriateness of the assessment
strategies was found in almost half of the respondents (45%).
The results of the open responses received from teachers regarding the purpose
of assessment are listed below in Table 5, indicating the 21 key themes that
emerged from the thematic analysis.
Open-ended item 1: In your view, what is the purpose of assessment?
Presented in Table 5, below, are the key themes that emerged from teachers'
responses on the purpose of assessment, reflecting a diverse range of
perspectives.
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Table 5: Teachers’ responses on the purpose of assessment
SN
Teachers' responses
on the 'Purpose of
Assessment'
SN
Teachers' responses
on the 'Purpose of
Assessment'
SN
Teachers'
responses on the
'Purpose of
Assessment'
1
Evaluate students’
understanding
8
Identify learners’
interest
15
Ensure student
engagement
2
Understand best
teaching practices
9
Judge the
knowledge
16
Assess learners’
acquired skills and
abilities
3
Collect relevant
information on
students’
performance
10
Understand learning
requirements
17
Decide on
promotion
4
Differentiate
between excellent
and poor students
11
Understand difficult
topic/content
18
Make decisions
about progression
5
Provide help to
students having
learning difficulties
12
Identify difficult
topics and modify
teaching methods
accordingly
19
Provide feedback
based on learning
6
Reflect on the
effectiveness of the
adopted pedagogy
13
Determine how well
learning matches
with the outcomes/
expectations
20 For exams
7
Identify learning
styles
14
Gauge the transfer
and assimilation of
knowledge
21
Understand the
learning process
The responses indicate that teachers believe assessment serves multiple purposes,
including supporting holistic development, promoting reflective teaching and
learning, driving student engagement and progress, enabling personalized
instruction, and encompassing a range of objectives to enhance the educational
experience. The responses can broadly be classified under five main themes
indicating the purposes of assessment: 1) Evaluation and Differentiation; 2)
Understanding Teaching and Learning; 3) Judging Learners' Interest and
Knowledge; 4) Understanding Difficult Topics and Learning Outcomes; 5)
Student Engagement, Progression, and Feedback. Even though some responses
lacked clarity and specificity, making it difficult to understand the intended
actions or strategies associated with those purposes, it can be inferred that the
majority of the responses focus on quantitative assessment methods, potentially
overlooking the value of qualitative approaches that provide deeper insights into
students’ learning. Also, there are implicit assumptions about the purpose of
assessment, such as ranking students or making progression decisions, which are
teacher-centric. These should be critically examined to ensure a more
comprehensive and student-centred approach. Furthermore, student
involvement in the assessment process is not prominently mentioned, despite its
potential to foster student ownership of learning.
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B. Current Assessment Practices
To understand the current assessment practices implemented by teachers, data
related to learners’ preferred strategies and teachers’ preferred strategies were
gathered and the results are presented as follows.
Open-ended item 2: What are the strategies you are using to assess your
students?
Data revealed that the teachers generally use offline assessment strategies as
opposed to online strategies, as shown below in Figure 6.
Figure 6: Use of the offline and online assessment strategies mainly used by teachers
Practical, demonstration, open book test, article writing/evaluation, debates,
tutorials, written assignments, seminars, mind maps, open-ended questions, pair-
share, portfolios, panel discussion, journal writing, term-end papers, research-
based assignments, lab tests, analysing company white papers, report writing,
movie reviews, video analysis and role plays are the offline strategies used by 2-
3% teachers.
When asked for the online assessment strategies they employ, respondents listed
such strategies as personal interaction in online mode, experiential learning,
dialogue, online lectures, class participation, punctuality in joining classes,
involvement and participation, attentiveness, timely submission of assignments,
self-assessments, Google forms, Edmodo, Google classroom, peer review of class
work, exercises that have a reflective component, online extempore sessions, oral
practical activities, problem solving, break-out rooms, interactive online tasks and
rubrics for evaluation. Many of these are not even assessment strategies,
indicating the teachers’ lack of conceptual clarity.
Open-ended item 3: What are the assessment strategies most preferred by
your students?
The main themes that emerged through thematic analysis for learners’ preferred
assessment strategies are shown in Figure 7, along with their frequency of
occurrence.
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Table 6: Current Assessment Practices: Learner Preferred
Current Assessment Practices: Learner Preferred
Assessment types Percent f
Case analysis/Discussion/Presentation 20% 12
Quiz/MCQs 16% 9
Project (group/field/live) 14% 8
Discussion 12% 7
Online assessment (Mentimeter, Spinwheel) 11% 6
Assignment 10% 6
Written exam/ paper-pencil tests 8% 5
Viva / Oral presentation 6% 3
Seminars/ Lab tests 3% 2
Total 58
Figure 7: Learner-preferred current assessment practices
Apart from these commonly used strategies, other strategies such as home
assignments, open-ended questions, practical tasks, demonstrations, debates,
journals, research-based assignments, role plays, tutorials, written tests, games,
group discussions, think-pair-share, mini cases, simulation, choral reading,
Socratic seminars, interactive videos, reflections and mock interviews were
additional strategies sometimes used by some of the teachers.
Open-ended item 4: Which assessment strategies do you prefer, and why?
The responses were categorized based on the assessment types preferred by the
teachers and represented in the table below (Table 7).
Table 7: Current Assessment Practices: Teacher Preferred
Current Assessment Practices: Teacher Preferred
Assessment types Percent f
Quiz/MCQs 27% 16
Viva 15% 9
Online assessment (e.g. Mentimeter, Spinwheel) 15% 9
Case analysis/Discussion/Presentation 12% 7
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Presentation 7% 4
Assignment (group/individual) 7% 4
Project (group/field/live) 5% 3
Written exams 5% 3
Discussions 5% 3
Practical tasks 2% 1
Total 58
Figure 8: Teacher-preferred current assessment practices
In terms of the assessment types preferred by learners, the top three choices were
case analysis/discussion/presentation (20%), quiz/MCQs (16%), and project
(group/field/live) (14%). These assessment methods tend to promote active
engagement, collaborative learning, and practical application of knowledge. On
the other hand, the most preferred assessment types of teachers were quiz/MCQs
(27%), viva (15%), and online assessments (e.g. Mentimeter, Spinwheel) (15%).
This indicates a greater emphasis on individual performance and knowledge
recall in teacher-preferred assessments.
One notable difference was the higher preference for discussion as an assessment
type among learners (12%) compared to teachers (5%). This suggests that learners
value opportunities for dialogue and exchanging ideas during assessments, which
aligns with their desire for active participation and engagement in the learning
process.
Assignment was chosen by 10% of learners compared to 7% of teachers, indicating
that learners appreciate assignments as a means to demonstrate their
understanding and apply their knowledge. Conversely, teachers placed a higher
emphasis on viva (15%) and presentation (7%) as preferred strategies for
assessment, suggesting a focus on evaluating oral communication skills and the
ability to deliver information effectively.
Despite these differences, both learners and teachers showed a shared preference
for online assessments, with 11% and 15%, respectively. This suggests a
recognition of the benefits and convenience offered by technology-mediated
assessments in facilitating learning and providing timely feedback.
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Overall, the data highlights a difference in preferences between learners and
teachers regarding assessment types (shown in Figures 7 and 8). Learners tend to
gravitate towards assessments that involve active participation, collaborative
activities, and real-world applications, while teachers lean towards assessments
that focus on individual performance and traditional evaluation methods.
Understanding these differences can help in designing assessment strategies that
align with the needs and preferences of both learners and teachers, promoting
effective and engaging assessment practices.
The main reasons given for the selection of assessment strategies are presented in
section C.
C. Teachers’ Reflections
Reflections by the teachers on their preferred assessment strategies and the
reasons for their selections are presented below in Table 8.
Table 8: Rationales for preferred assessment strategies
Teachers’ preferred
assessment strategies
Teachers’ reasons for their selection of assessment
strategies
Quiz • Objective
• Useful for formative assessment
• Fast, less time-consuming
• Accurate analysis of the learning
Viva • Clear picture about each student
• Overall understanding of students
• No room for copying, easy to gauge students
• Opportunity for individual assessment
• Real-time analysis
• Immediate overview of students’ understanding
without any bias
Case studies/
analysis/discussion/
presentation
• Evokes real-time thinking
• Students study a lot
• Allow students to write without fear of judgment
MCQs • Preferred by students
• Easy to conduct and evaluate
• Less time-consuming
• Reduce chances of ambiguity
• Easy to check the basics
• Convenient
Presentation • Opportunity for personal interaction
• Student involvement
• Real-life applications
• Presentation skills, develops confidence
• Quick feedback can be given
Projects
(group/ field/live)
• Summarization
• Knowledge application
• Peer learning
• Students choose what they like to work on
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• Encourages team spirit and student interaction
• Scope for creativity
Written exams • Test the learning of students
• Check writing ability and knowledge of students
Discussions • Room for group work
Open-ended
questions
• Opportunities for students to express themselves
Article analysis • Analytical abilities
• Cover contemporary issues not found in textbooks
Game-based learning • Assists self-evaluation
• Enhances practical skills
Open book test • Challenging
Interactive video case • Apply theoretical learning to a practical scenario
The findings indicated that teacher-centric strategies focus on assessing learning
outcomes and gaining insights into students' progress, while student-centric
strategies emphasize assessment for learning and creating an interactive learning
environment. The reasons given for the selection of these strategies include
objectivity, time efficiency, real-time analysis, personal interaction opportunities,
and skill development. Thus, more attention is currently paid to ‘Assessment of
Learning’ rather than ‘Assessment as learning’ or ‘Assessment for learning’.
The HE teachers' preferences for assessment tools and their rationales indicate
that there is a lower priority on promoting deeper understanding, critical
thinking, problem-solving skills, creativity, collaboration, and self-evaluation. On
the other hand, alternative assessment strategies prioritize engagement and the
active involvement of students in the assessment process. The participants’
preferred assessment strategies are primarily based on traditional methods. These
strategies are chosen for their objectivity, efficiency in administration, ability to
provide a clear understanding of students' performance, opportunities for
individual assessment, and real-time analysis. Consequently, the preferences
expressed in the table reflect a predominant reliance on teacher-centric assessment
approaches aimed at evaluating students' knowledge and comprehension of the
subject matter.
Furthermore, the table displayed the HE teachers’ rationales for selecting specific
assessment tools, which were based on factors such as objectivity, formative
assessment opportunities, real-time analysis, student engagement, ease of
administration and evaluation, and the ability to measure overall learning. These
considerations reflect the goals and priorities of the teachers in assessing student
progress and promoting effective learning outcomes.
The table also highlights the limited evidence of teachers' knowledge and
utilization of alternative assessment methods. Alternative strategies such as case
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studies, discussions, projects, game-based learning, open-book tests, article
analysis, and interactive video cases offer opportunities for students to
demonstrate practical skills, engage in collaborative learning, apply theoretical
knowledge to real-world scenarios, and express their thoughts and ideas. These
methods promote critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and self-
evaluation.
The findings indicate that there is a lack of clarity among teachers regarding
assessment-related terms such as strategies, tools, and approaches. Certain
student-preferred strategies, including debates, research-based assignments,
simulations, seminars, and reflections, were not taken into consideration.
However, the reasons for their selection of specific strategies indicated clarity
among teachers in using them for assessments.
Thus, the limited mention of alternative assessment tools (as shown in the table)
suggests that teachers may have limited awareness or understanding of the
potential benefits and applications of these methods. It is essential for educators
to enhance their assessment literacy and explore diverse assessment approaches
that cater to the varying needs and preferences of students. By incorporating
alternative assessment methods into practice, teachers can create a more inclusive
and engaging learning environment that fosters deeper understanding, critical
thinking, and greater skill development.
Open-ended item 5: Reflect on your ‘successful’ and ‘unsuccessful’ assessment
practices during the past two years.
Reflections on item 5 were collected from the respondents. The results are
indicated in Table 9, as follows.
Table 9: Reflections on successful and unsuccessful assessment strategies
Successfully implemented assessment
strategies
Unsuccessful assessment
strategies
• MCQs and short questions
• Viva (online/offline)
• Continuous quizzes
• Verbal assessment
• Quizzes
• Tests
• Projects
• Home assignments
• Case analysis
• Article writing
• Project-based learning
• Descriptive questions
• Online written exams
• Group presentations
• Open book online exams
• Term-end conventional
tests
• Use of whiteboard
Reflections on the successes and failures of various assessment strategies in online
and offline modes were mixed. MCQs, short questions, viva (online/offline),
continuous quizzes, verbal assessment, quizzes, tests, projects, home assignments,
case analyses, article writing, and project-based learning were successful
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strategies, while descriptive questions, online written exams, group presentations,
open book online exams, term-end conventional tests, and use of whiteboard were
unsuccessful.
Analysis revealed that there is an emerging need for training on innovative,
alternative assessments. Comparison between the learner-preferred strategies and
the teacher-preferred strategies revealed a mismatch. Apart from commonly used
assessment strategies, several other forms – such as home assignment, open-
ended questions, practical tasks, demonstrations, debates, journaling, research-
based assignments, role plays, tutorials, games, group discussions, think-pair-
share, mini-cases, simulations, choral readings, Socratic seminars, interactive
videos, reflections, and mock interviews – were preferred by students but were
infrequently practiced by teachers. This reinforces the need for the adoption of
alternative assessment strategies by teachers. Furthermore, convenience of
implementation, less consumption of time, and ease of evaluation were found to
be among the prominent reasons given for the selection of assessment strategies.
Comparison between Table 8 and Table 9 highlights both the existing knowledge
and potential gaps in assessment practices among HE teachers. Table 1 reveals
that teachers have a concrete understanding of traditional assessment strategies,
as indicated by their preferences. Their reasons for selecting these strategies, such
as objectivity, time efficiency, and real-time analysis, demonstrate their awareness
of the benefits of these methods in evaluating student performance. However, the
limited mention or absence of alternative assessment tools, as shown in Table 8,
suggests a need for further training and exploration. Strategies such as debates,
research-based assignments, simulations, and seminars, which promote critical
thinking and creativity, were not considered by teachers for assessment purposes.
This highlights a potential gap in their knowledge of alternative assessment
methods. Table 9 provides additional insight by showcasing the assessment
strategies that have been successfully implemented and those that have not
yielded the desired outcomes. While traditional strategies such as MCQs and
written exams were deemed successful, some alternative methods, including
group presentations and open book online exams, were not perceived to be as
effective. These findings underscore the importance of addressing the training
needs of HE teachers in terms of assessment literacy and alternative assessment
tools. Comprehensive training programs can equip teachers with the necessary
knowledge, skills, and resources to implement a wider range of assessment
strategies that cater to diverse student needs and promote deeper learning
outcomes.
5. Discussion
The present study, based on current assessment practices, showed that assessment
literacy among teachers in higher education needs to be improved. Overall, the
results suggest that higher education teachers are inclined towards traditional
assessment methods. Similar findings were observed in previous studies,
indicating persistently low levels of assessment literacy among teachers and a lack
of theory-driven instruments in formative assessments (Yan & Pastore, 2022).
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Traditional assessment methods are frequently preferred by teachers, compared
to other assessment strategies. The findings also underscore persistent gaps
between learner-preferred and teacher-preferred assessment practices. Though
many teachers use online assessment strategies, few use student-preferred
strategies such as debates, research-based assignments, simulations, seminars,
and reflections. There was a lack of clarity among teachers on assessment
strategies, tools and approaches, thereby indicating inadequate awareness and
preparation. The present study thus found differences in the preferred assessment
strategies among teachers and learners. The study conducted by Pereira and
Flores (2016) provides evidence of such a contradiction between teachers’
conceptions of assessment and the practices on similar lines.
Developing ‘assessment literacy’ or ‘learning to assess’ is a complex process that
demands continuous negotiation with shifting paradigms of assessment,
alongside other evolving educational and pedagogical theories related
to individualization, self-assessment, constructive feedback, peer-assessment,
spaced learning, and differentiated assessment. A lack of substantial knowledge
on assessment practices significantly influences learning outcomes (Oo et al., 2023;
DeLuca et al., 2019; Bennett, 2011, as cited in Mellati & Khademi, 2018). Research
emphasizes that improved assessment literacy among teachers can develop clarity
among learners on the overall process and evaluation criteria. Assessment literacy
enhances student engagement and motivation in learning (Hannigan et al.,
2022). Teachers’ assessment literacy has a statistically significant impact on
learners’ achievement (Mellati & Khademi, 2018). It is apparent from the findings
that teachers' reasoning and judgement on assessment methods is more in favour
of conventional assessment practices that assess lower-order thinking and recall
skills, focusing on evaluating oral communication skills, the ability to deliver
information effectively and so on. This translates into a lower inclination towards
active participation, collaborative activities, real-world applications, and
performance-based approaches that support learner-centred practices.
Contrary to the findings of some similar studies (Sun & Zhang, 2022), the teachers’
responses were not completely unsatisfactory. Many teachers practiced strategies
such as MCQs, short questions, viva (online/offline), continuous quizzes, verbal
assessment, quizzes, tests, projects, home assignments, case analyses, article
writing, and project-based learning, which are found to be more successful than
strategies such as descriptive questions, online written exams, group
presentations, open book online exams, term-end conventional tests, and
assessments using interactive whiteboards. Deep-level strategies involving higher
order thinking are the preferred assessment tasks and are considered to be
successful strategies by higher education teacher participants. The teacher-
preferred strategies that elicit responses restricted to lower-level thinking, while
involving learners only superficially, have been considered less successful
strategies. In their study, Kim and Lee (2021) observed that various factors are
responsible for low scores among teachers in assessment literacy, including
personal factors, professional factors, institutional culture and factors related to
state policy. By promoting a deeper understanding of assessment principles and
strategies, educators can design assessments that align with learners' needs and
foster higher-order thinking.
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The present study reveals that teachers prefer assessments that are convenient to
implement, less time-consuming and easy to evaluate. These preferences indicate
an inclination towards the surface approach of completing assessment tasks
without demonstrating in-depth learning. Performance-based assessments serve
as an alternative to traditional methods and promote deep-level learning. The
present findings contradict those of previous research which indicate that learners
prefer objective styles of question format (MCQ) above other assessment types
(Holzinger, 2020; Dang & Tsang, 2022). However, the findings of the present
study indicate learners’ preference for performance-based assessments. Tomas
and Jessop (2018) speculate that learners focus on achieving grades and thus
mainly concentrate on work that counts towards these. Also, attention needs to be
paid to the minimal use of alternative performance-based strategies and the lack
of consideration being given to learners’ preferences in assessments. The present
research findings align with those of Areekkuzhiyil (2019), who states that
deliberate efforts are required from academicians and authorities to make
assessments more dynamic and fruitful.
Overall, the present study addresses the low levels of assessment literacy, lack of
accommodation of learners’ preferred strategies and minimal use of performance-
based and alternative assessment strategies. Similar findings were reported in the
literature in China, which reveals a lack of assessment literacy among university
English teachers (Xu & Brown, 2017).
Furthermore, the present work also highlights the need for improving awareness
among teachers about various assessment strategies. Previous studies have
confirmed that learner-centric assessment practices enhance the active
involvement of the students, produce feedback, enable collaboration between
students and faculty and allow teachers to realise how learning occurs (Webber,
2012 cited in Pereira et al., 2016). The conventional approach to assessment must
be used judiciously, in combination with performance-based assessments,
considering the learning outcomes. Holzinger et al. (2020) suggest that MCQs
must be well constructed, allowing for the evaluation of taxonomically higher-
order skills rather than simply recall or recognition-type questions.
Unlike previous research carried out in the area of assessment literacy, this
research work presented an apparent depiction of assessment literacy and
practices. The study utilized the teacher-preferred assessment strategy (i.e.
MCQs) for participants to self-assess their own assessment literacy.
Although the perceptions on assessment-related concepts cannot be generalized,
they are noteworthy at both local and institutional levels.
6. Recommendations
The results indicate that strategies supporting skill enhancement, collaboration,
creativity, and performance are less practiced. Teachers need formal training to
implement these alternative strategies alongside their regularly practiced
assessment strategies. These reflections require further exploration and
subsequent data gathering in order to understand the nature of training
programmes that should be offered to faculty. Similar surveys can be conducted
in future to verify the differences between learner-preferred and teacher-preferred
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assessment practices at higher education level. Learners can also be involved to
understand the current assessment practices offered by their teachers in offline as
well as online modes of teaching and learning. Teachers' readiness to adopt new
alternative means of assessment needs to be addressed as early as possible. In
view of the observations and findings, the researchers recommend that further
exploration is needed in the area of assessment literacy among higher education
teachers and further analysis is needed in terms of alternative assessments. This
study can be taken ahead by obtaining data from all the stakeholders and then
triangulating it, which will give insight into the concrete needs for alternative
assessment training.
7. Conclusion
In conclusion, the National Education Policy - 2020 emphasizes the need for a shift
towards scientific and formative assessments that focus on the application of
knowledge. It highlights the significance of assessment literacy among teachers to
ensure the validity and fairness of assessments, as well as the importance of
faculty autonomy in fostering innovative teaching and assessment practices (NEP,
2020). However, the findings of the present study address specific research gaps
in the field of assessment in higher education. In light of policy expectations and
the increasing demands of the modern education system, this study has
significant implications for faculty development programs and educational
policymakers. The study reveals a need to improve HE teachers' assessment
literacy, as evidenced by their lack of clarity regarding tests, the discrepancy
between teachers’ and students’ preferences for assessment methods and the
limited reference to performance-based, formative and alternative assessment
strategies. While some educators exhibit proficiency in specific aspects of
assessment, there remains a clear need for comprehensive training on the
fundamental principles of educational assessment and evaluation, as well as the
implementation of student-centred and performance-based assessment practices
(Govindarajan & Srivastava, 2020; Dutta, 2020; Joshi et al., 2021). To address these
gaps, targeted training on assessment, reforms in teacher training and
development programs are necessary to enhance assessment literacy and promote
effective assessment practices that are aligned with learning outcomes. Further
research on a larger scale is recommended to better understand the status of
assessment literacy as well as the assessment practices in Indian universities and
to explore the impact of enhanced assessment literacy on student learning
outcomes and the overall learning environment.
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©Authors
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0
International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
Vol. 22, No. 7, pp. 30-51, July 2023
https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.22.7.2
Received Apr 8, 2023; Revised Jun 15, 2023; Accepted July 10, 2023
Principals’ Leadership Orientation and Students’
Academic Performance in Secondary Schools of
Gedeo Zone, Ethiopia
RJ (Nico) Botha*
University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Seyoum Gari Aleme
Institute of Education and Behavioural Science
Dilla University, Dilla, Ethiopia
Abstract. As accountability in educational leadership has increased,
interest in finding the most rewarding type of principal leadership
orientation that helps to improve student performance is enhanced. The
lack of agreement on the most rewarding type of leadership orientation
among task-focused, relationship-focused or/and change-focused
behaviours, as well as the incidence of poor performance by students has
resulted in the Gedeo Zone of Ethiopia commissioning us to conduct this
study. The objective of the study was to identify the most profitable type
of principal leadership orientation that enhances the success of students
in the secondary schools of the zone. Three ineffective (least achievers)
and three effective (best achiever) schools of the zone were chosen
purposively, as sample for the study by using the maximum variation
strategy. The total of the sample was 339, of which 321 (n=321)
participated in the quantitative part of the study, while 18 were involved
in the qualitative part. A questionnaire, semi-structured interviews and
document analysis were used as instruments to collect the data. The
quantitative data were analysed by using means, standard deviations,
correlations, regressions, and line graphs, while the qualitative data were
analysed via a content-analytical approach. The findings of this study
revealed that high task and change-oriented behaviours among school
leadership enhanced the students’ success, while high relationship-
oriented behaviours intended to get a mere affiliation affected the
learners’ success negatively. High task-oriented behaviours enable
principals to initiate work, directing members towards goals, and
monitoring members’ performance. The active engagement of principals
in teaching and learning activities enhances students’ academic
‘achievements more than mere passive involvement to deal with the
challenges they may encounter. Thus, principals are advised to exhibit
high task and high change-oriented behaviours, as their engagement
*
Corresponding author: RJ (Nico) Botha, botharj@unisa.ac.za
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affects other stakeholders to play their role in improving students’
learning.
Keywords: leadership; task-oriented; relationship-oriented; change-
oriented; Ethiopian secondary schools; students’ performance; Gedeo
zone
1. Introduction
The role of school principals becomes more demanding and complex, as school
activities expand in size and complexity, because of the high expectations of the
learners and the parents. Principals, as school leaders, must be capable of
inspiring the school community with what they do and how they do it, so that all
stakeholders in the school context are motivated to realise the success of all
students (Hallinger & Heck, 2010; Onorato, 2013; Tesfaye & Ayalew, 2020). Thus,
the complex and continuously changing school environment requires capable
school principals, who exert a positive influence by exhibiting the appropriate
leadership behaviours that would motivate the school community to work
enthusiastically, in order to realise the success of all the students.
Studies of effective schools, where nearly all the students are assumed to have
reached their performance targets, have demonstrated the importance of studying
principals’ leadership behaviours as a major factor determining school success (cf.
Louis, et al., 2010; Budohi, 2014; Pinto, 2014; Day et al., 2016; Chia & Lia 2017). In
relation to this, the leadership styles of principals are an instrument that helps to
influence and shape the process and behaviour of the school community towards
realising better achievements for all the students (Hallinger, 2011).
More importantly, most researchers have considered only task and relationship-
oriented behaviours in their analysis of school effectiveness, while school leaders
themselves have in fact exhibited changed behaviours in accomplishing their
leadership goals. Consequently, there is a shortage of studies that have considered
the effect of all three meta-categories (task, relationship, and change-oriented
behaviours) in the field of school leadership and management. Such observed
discrepancy in the field makes this study important; as it may contribute to
resolving the existing lack of conceptual clarity in the category of leadership
orientation and contradictory findings on the most effective type of leadership
orientation that enhances better student performance.
2. Objectives and a hypothesis for the study
Taking this context into consideration, the objective of the study was to identify
the most effective type of principal’s leadership behavioural orientation that has
a positive effect on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in the
Gedeo zone of Ethiopia. To achieve the above objective, the research question was
posed as follows: Which type(s) of principals’ leadership behavioural
orientation has/have a positive effect on students’ academic performance in the
secondary schools of Gedeo zone, Ethiopia?
According to Cohen et al., (2007), “an alternative way of operationalising research
questions takes the form of hypothesis raising and hypothesis testing” (p. 82). In
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line with this, we have set a hypothesis as an additional tool to guide our enquiry
with the intention of detecting the type and direction of relationship behavior that
exists between each type of principal’s leadership orientation and students’
academic performance. The following hypothesis with respect to the effect of a
principal’s leadership orientation on the academic performance of students (to be
rejected or confirmed by analysing the data collected for this purpose) was
phrased:
H1: All three types of principals’ leadership orientation (task, relationship, and
change) yield a statistically significant academic achievement of students in the
secondary schools of Gedeo zone in Ethiopia.
3. The Literature review
Leadership behaviours, in the broadest sense, refer to the style leaders exhibit in
work that exclusively scrutinises what they do, and how they act in the process of
directing people, implementing plans, or motivating followers in pursuit of the
goals commonly agreed on (cf. Mullins, 2005; Yukl, 2010; Northouse, 2013). In a
school context, the study of leadership behaviours is concerned with what the
principals do regarding their respective activities, roles, and responsibilities; and,
in addition, how they act instead of searching for the trait or personality
characteristics endowed by nature (Yukl, 2010, Northouse, 2016).
Leadership behaviours exhibited by a leader at work are important for ensuring
a smooth and effective functioning of an organisation and attaining shared goals.
Many educational researchers offered evidence of a positive correlation between
student academic success and effective leadership behaviours of principals (cf.
Brady, 2012; Day et al., 2016; Cruickshank, 2017; Chia & Lia, 2017). Such research
findings made the study of leadership behaviour a major focus point for
researchers in this field; since it is believed to be significant for increasing
personal, as well as organisational satisfaction and performance of employees
(Yukl, 2010; Northouse, 2016). Since the leadership style affects aspects, such as
the acceptance of decisions, the commitment of stake holders, the satisfaction and
productivity of the school, principals must select the appropriate behaviour for
the existing context (Botha, 2012). In this sense, the leadership behaviours
exhibited by school principals should be appropriate, in order to exert a positive
influence on the behaviours of teachers, students, parents and the other
stakeholders.
The main period of behavioural approaches to leadership occurred between 1945
with the Ohio State and Michigan studies and the mid-1960s, with the
development of the Managerial Grid (cf. Mullins, 2005; Yukl, 2010; Northouse,
2016). During this period, most scholars specified two broad dimensions of
leadership behaviours that incorporate task accomplishment and satisfy the
personal and organisational needs of followers. Task-oriented and relationship-
oriented leadership behaviours are therefore a foundation for various types of
leadership styles. This dichotomy is multi-faceted, referring to the way in which
power is distributed and decisions are made on what needs should be met.
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Regarding this point, Bass (1990) relates the features of autocratic and democratic
leadership styles to task-oriented and relationship-oriented behaviours.
Furthermore, Bass (1990) has shown that the autocratic cluster of behaviours
refers to the performance dimension, while the democratic cluster denotes the
maintenance dimension.
Even though the two-factor dichotomy discussed above encompasses many
leadership styles, it fails to consider change-oriented behaviours that are
concerned with encouraging and facilitating change, innovation and emotional
commitment to the mission of the unit (Yukl, 2010). Furthermore, Yukl (2010)
elaborated that by the 1980s, change-oriented behaviour was implicit in some
theories of charismatic and transformational leadership. Change-oriented
leadership behaviours, as a third meta-category, was mentioned independently in
the 1990s by researchers in Sweden (Ekvall & Arvonen, 1991) and in the United
States (Yukl, 1999a). Each of the three meta-categories of leadership has a different
primary purpose. As stated by Yukl (2010), task-oriented leadership behaviour is
primarily concerned with accomplishing the task in an efficient and reliable way,
while relations-oriented behaviour is concerned with increasing mutual trust,
cooperation, job satisfaction and identification with the organisation. Likewise,
the third meta–category of change-oriented behaviour, is primarily concerned
with understanding the environment, finding innovative ways to adapt to it and
implementing the major changes in strategies, products, or processes.
In accordance with this development, the early fixation on considering and
initiating a leadership structure appears to have come to an end, as many
researchers now examine a broader range of behaviours and types of behaviours
that are more specific (Yukl, 2010). Indeed, the classification of the leadership
behaviours of task-oriented, relationship-oriented, and change-oriented is a
generalised taxonomy that is functional in all types of organisations in a similar
way.
Most researchers (cf. Armstrong, 2009; Yukl, 2010; Northouse, 2016) who have
conducted studies on the effect of leadership orientation on employees’
performance have merely deliberated task and relationship behaviours,
overlooking change-oriented behaviours, which school principals are practicing
continually in their leadership roles. Evidently, Northouse (2016) stated that
“whenever leadership occurs, leaders are acting out both task and relationship behaviours,
although in some situation they need to focus on task, whereas in others condition, they
may give more emphasis for relationship” (p.83). Based on an overall pattern of
research findings, Yukl (2010) asserts that ‘high-task’ and `high-relationship’
oriented leadership behaviours tend to be more effective, even though
concentrating on one type of behaviour and less on the others, could also make
the organisation effective in specific situations. According to Yukl (2010),
depending on circumstances, both styles could lead to an increase in the
performance and productivity.
From the discussion above it is evident that change-oriented leadership
behaviours, recently mentioned and discussed by various scholars as a third meta-
category, is indeed exhibited as a leadership behaviour in practice. There are,
however, limited research findings that have considered the impact of all three
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ILJTER.ORG Volume 22 Number 07 July 2023

  • 1. International Journal of Learning, Teaching And Educational Research p-ISSN: 1694-2493 e-ISSN: 1694-2116 IJLTER.ORG Vol.22 No.7
  • 2. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research (IJLTER) Vol. 22, No. 7 (July 2023) Print version: 1694-2493 Online version: 1694-2116 IJLTER International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research (IJLTER) Vol. 22, No. 7 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically those of translation, reprinting, re-use of illustrations, broadcasting, reproduction by photocopying machines or similar means, and storage in data banks. Society for Research and Knowledge Management
  • 3. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research is a peer-reviewed open-access journal which has been established for the dissemination of state-of-the-art knowledge in the fields of learning, teaching and educational research. Aims and Objectives The main objective of this journal is to provide a platform for educators, teachers, trainers, academicians, scientists and researchers from over the world to present the results of their research activities in the following fields: innovative methodologies in learning, teaching and assessment; multimedia in digital learning; e-learning; m-learning; e-education; knowledge management; infrastructure support for online learning; virtual learning environments; open education; ICT and education; digital classrooms; blended learning; social networks and education; e- tutoring: learning management systems; educational portals, classroom management issues, educational case studies, etc. Indexing and Abstracting The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research is indexed in Scopus since 2018. The Journal is also indexed in Google Scholar and CNKI. All articles published in IJLTER are assigned a unique DOI number.
  • 4. Foreword We are very happy to publish this issue of the International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research. The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research is a peer-reviewed open-access journal committed to publishing high-quality articles in the field of education. Submissions may include full-length articles, case studies and innovative solutions to problems faced by students, educators and directors of educational organisations. To learn more about this journal, please visit the website http://www.ijlter.org. We are grateful to the editor-in-chief, members of the Editorial Board and the reviewers for accepting only high quality articles in this issue. We seize this opportunity to thank them for their great collaboration. The Editorial Board is composed of renowned people from across the world. Each paper is reviewed by at least two blind reviewers. We will endeavour to ensure the reputation and quality of this journal with this issue. Editors of the July 2023 Issue
  • 5. VOLUME 22 NUMBER 7 July 2023 Table of Contents Assessment Literacy, Current Assessment Practices and Future Training: Reflections of Teachers in Higher Education.................................................................................................................................................................................1 Sophia Gaikwad, Ashwini Wadegaonkar, Gargee Mitra, Devjani Chakravarty Principals’ Leadership Orientation and Students’ Academic Performance in Secondary Schools of Gedeo Zone, Ethiopia .................................................................................................................................................................................. 30 RJ (Nico) Botha, Seyoum Gari Aleme Chinese University English-Major Students’ Attitude Toward Literature Circles and Literature Reading............. 52 Lei Ma, Lilliati Ismail, Norzihani Saharuddin Performance Analysis Towards Excellent Schools........................................................................................................... 70 Abednego Abednego, Patrisius Rahabav, John Rafafy Batlolona Experiences of Student-Teachers: Implications for Refined Student-Support.............................................................. 87 Adesegun Olayide Odutayo, Sarita Ramsaroop Stakeholders’ Perspectives of Early Childhood Education Language and Literacy Laboratories in the United Arab Emirates................................................................................................................................................................................ 104 Aysha AlShamsi, Phil Quirke Challenges and Opportunities of AI-Assisted Learning: A Systematic Literature Review on the Impact of ChatGPT Usage in Higher Education .............................................................................................................................. 122 Alfonso Renato Vargas-Murillo, Ilda Nadia Monica de la Asuncion Pari-Bedoya, Francisco de Jesús Guevara-Soto Project-based Learning to Promote Learner Autonomy in Training Hospitality Education at a Technical and Vocational Education and Training College ................................................................................................................... 136 Shawn Lourens Green, Elizabeth Catharina (Elize) du Plessis Implementation of Strategy Instruction in Teaching English as a Foreign Language: A Systematic Review ........ 156 Li Su, Nooreen Noordin, Joanna Joseph Jeyaraj Stakeholders’ Perceptions of Teaching and Technological Skills in EFL Vocabulary Instruction: Implications for Remote Learning.................................................................................................................................................................173 Paul Gonzalez-Torres, Paola Cabrera-Solano, Luz Castillo-Cuesta Self-Instructional Teaching Internship Module: An Evaluation................................................................................... 193 Imelda C. Montalbo, Maria Nancy Quinco-Cadosales, Angeline M. Pogoy, Jo Ann M. Petancio The Role of Multi-dimensional Curriculum Design in Improving Higher-Order Thinking Skills.......................... 219 Anita Yosepha, Mohammad Ali, Dinn Wahyudin, Rusman Rusman GO-DEEP: A Potential Reflection Model for Experiential Learning............................................................................ 240 Ngoc Thi-Nhu Bui, Pratchayapong Yasri
  • 6. An Investigation into the Benefits and Challenges of International Student Exchange Programs: Perspectives from Student Teachers ....................................................................................................................................................... 258 Huynh Thi Thuy Diem, Mai Phuc Thinh, Tran Thi Mung Application of the Chatbot in University Education: A Bibliometric Analysis of Indexed Scientific Production in SCOPUS, 2013-2023 ............................................................................................................................................................ 281 Omar Chamorro-Atalaya, Soledad Olivares-Zegarra, Lisle Sobrino-Chunga, Rosemary Guerrero-Carranza, Ademar Vargas- Diaz, Madison Huarcaya-Godoy, José Rasilla-Rovegno, Raul Suarez-Bazalar, Jorge Poma-Garcia, Yreneo Cruz-Telada Applying E-Writing Therapy to Improve Mental Wellbeing among Malaysian University Students Following the COVID-19 Pandemic .......................................................................................................................................................... 305 Ying Qin Tee, Kee Pau, Mahmoud Danaee Effectiveness of a Mixed Methods-Based Literacy Program in Improving Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary Mastery, and Reading Fluency Skills of Early Grade Students .................................................................................... 324 Indah Nurmahanani A Conceptual Analysis of What it Means to Decolonize the Curriculum................................................................... 344 Bunmi Isaiah Omodan, Pretty Thandiswa Mpiti, Nomxolisi Mtsi The Impact of Project-Based and Experiential Learning Integration on Pre-Service Teacher Achievement in Evaluation and Assessment............................................................................................................................................... 356 Apantee Poonputta Teachers’ Professional Development and Pedagogical Shift towards Dialogic Teaching in Malaysian Lower Secondary ESL Classrooms ............................................................................................................................................... 371 Sheila Adelina Ramasamy, Azlin Zaiti Zainal Critical Factors for Enhancing Students’ Collaborative Learning Experiences in a Project-based Connectivism Learning Environment....................................................................................................................................................... 388 Fui Theng Leow, Mai Neo Innovation in Early Reading Instruction: The Development of e-Learning Materials in Mother Tongue.............. 411 J-Roel B. Semilla, Venus R. Parmisana, Loreta L. Fajardo, Ruben L. Abucayon, Angeline P. Dinoro, Josefina M. Tabudlong Empowering Children through Sex Education: A Study on Kindergarten Policies in Indonesia............................ 434 Munir Yusuf, Firman Firman, Hasriadi Hasriadi, Mirnawati Mirnawati Contributions and Partnership Strategies of External Stakeholders in the Implementation of the Alternative Learning System in Bontoc District: Insights from Teachers ........................................................................................ 454 Johnny P. Cayabas, Christie Lynne C. Codod, Delia A. Sumeg-ang, Elizabeth Lacaben Faculty Members’ Awareness of Artificial Intelligence and Its Relationship to Technology Acceptance and Digital Competencies at King Faisal University.......................................................................................................................... 473 Sherif Adel Gaber, Hussein Ahmed Shahat, Ibrahim Abdullah Alkhateeb, Sumaia Attia Al Hasan, Mohammed Ahmed Alqatam, Sultan Mubarak Almughyirah, Mohammed keshar Kamel Enhancing Reading-Comprehension Abilities and Attitudes of EFL Students through utilising Content-Creation Tools in Classroom Presentations..................................................................................................................................... 497 Pattama Panyasai Engaging English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Students through the Game-Based Learning Approach in Higher Education............................................................................................................................................................................. 517 Cesar Ochoa-Cueva, Luz Castillo-Cuesta, Paola Cabrera-Solano
  • 7. A Survey of Mathematics Pre-Service Teachers' End-of-Teaching Practice Reflections of Educational Contexts.535 Benjamin Tatira Flipped Direct Instruction (FDI): A New Practicum Learning Model in Vocational Education .............................. 547 Akrimullah Mubai, Ambiyar Ambiyar, Dedy Irfan, Mohamad Sattar Rasul Mentors’ and Mentees’ Experiences in a Sino-Foreign Cooperative Education Programme: A Phenomenological Study in a Public University in China.............................................................................................................................. 566 Ying Tang, Lin Siew Eng Factors that Parents in South Africa Consider in Support of their Children’s Continuous Use of Online Learning ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 586 David Mutambara
  • 8. 1 ©Authors This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research Vol. 22, No. 7, pp. 1-29, July 2023 https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.22.7.1 Received Apr 16, 2023; Revised July 7, 2023; Accepted July 18, 2023 Assessment Literacy, Current Assessment Practices and Future Training: Reflections of Teachers in Higher Education Sophia Gaikwad Symbiosis Teaching Learning Resource Centre (STLRC), Symbiosis International (Deemed University), India Ashwini Wadegaonkar Symbiosis Teaching Learning Resource Centre (STLRC), Symbiosis International (Deemed University), India Gargee Mitra Symbiosis Schools Central Directorate, India Devjani Chakravarty Savitribai Phule Pune University, India Abstract. The aim of this study is to explore assessment literacy, to analyse the current assessment practices of teachers in Higher Education (HE) and to understand the need for alternative assessment practices in light of teachers’ reflections. The research employed incidental sampling to select (n=58) HE teachers from a single multidisciplinary university in Maharashtra State, India. A comprehensive literature review on assessment literacy provided the theoretical foundation, and a specialized assessment tool was developed to assess the teachers' assessment literacy level, perspectives, and practices in assessment. Data were collected through voluntary participation and analysed using quantitative and qualitative techniques. The findings revealed that the majority of HE teachers (79%) demonstrated a moderate level of assessment literacy, while 16% exhibited low levels and only 5% showed high levels. Additionally, a discrepancy was observed between the preferred assessment types of teachers and learners, with learners emphasizing active participation and real-world applications, while teachers leaned toward traditional evaluation methods. Participants were found to be literate only in specific aspects such as meaning, basic forms of assessments, and the purpose of educational assessments. Furthermore, teachers minimally acknowledge and have a lesser preference for alternative assessment methods, such as article analysis, team projects, case studies, and discussions. Overall findings indicate teachers' lack of
  • 9. 2 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter knowledge about assessment practices that involve evaluating student performance, fostering collaboration, assessing higher-order thinking skills, and utilizing assessment as a tool for learning and improvement. This research confirms the need for training to enhance teachers' assessment literacy, promoting the adoption of alternative assessment practices in higher education to optimize student learning experiences. Keywords: Assessment literacy; Current assessment practices; Alternative assessments; Higher education teachers 1. Introduction Assessment is crucial in our rank-dominated system but also leads to high dropout rates in higher education (HE). Effective assessment practices can help to identify and address the factors contributing to dropout rates such as learning difficulties, lower engagement, or inadequate support. By understanding students' learning needs and progress through assessment, educational institutions can implement targeted and timely interventions and personalized support to improve retention rates, thereby ensuring the success of all learners. India's Higher Education (HE) sector is critical in meeting the needs of its vast youth population, which exceeds 38.5 million. The National Education Policy, 2020 (NEP 2020), set a target to increase the HE Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) from 26.3% in 2018 to 50% by 2035. This expansion is expected to be facilitated by the adoption of Open and Distance Learning methods. Furthermore, the NEP 2020 is committed to offering high-quality higher education, with equity and inclusion. However, reports reveal enormous student dropout rates between the secondary stage and higher education (Ministry of Human Resource Development, 2016). The constructivist approach to assessments emphasizes that ‘learners are the constructors of their knowledge.’ It promotes student initiative, self-discipline, and choice. Furthermore, it encourages learner engagement and provides ample opportunities for students to express their learning through preferred assessment tasks. Alternative assessments require responsive instruction, allowing teachers to make use of learners' abilities to improve the quality of learning. Reports have shown that there is an enormous student dropout rate from secondary stage onwards, extending to higher education (MHRD report, 2016). When it comes to educational assessment, the stakes are very high, since it determines students’ individual learning and sways development at the macro level. Therefore, assessment standards must be carefully determined in terms of quality enhancement, rather than relying upon the instinctive judgment of teachers. To achieve this, assessment literacy must be given due importance in teachers’ professional development. However, the question remains whether the current assessment practices effectively indicate learners’ skill levels or whether they are merely a tool for testing the learners’ memories. Underachievement in assessments could be a significant factor in inducing dropout (Can et al., 2017; Paura & Arhipova, 2014). In this vein, the NEP 2020 states that Higher Education Institutions shall move to a criterion-based grading system that assesses student achievement based on learning goals for each programme, making
  • 10. 3 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter the system fairer and outcomes more comparable. HEIs shall move away from high-stakes examinations towards more continuous and comprehensive evaluation –teachers will also have more autonomy in terms of the selection of assessment method. The questions remains, however, whether teachers possess the necessary skills to make informed decisions regarding the most appropriate assessment format, which is a crucial determinant of students' future outcomes. Assessment in education has a decisive role to play. It measures the learning and competence of students in terms of their scores and grades while also assisting teachers with reflective and remedial teaching. In a formal system of learner- centric education, assessment has a greater impact on learners than the teacher or the institution. Several factors can potentially affect the output of assessments. From the learners' perspectives, these could be individual learning styles, memory, interest, and other psychological factors. From an institutional standpoint, factors can include the teaching style, teachers’ assessment literacy, classroom environment, instruments used for assessment, subject, and type of assessment (DeLuca et al., 2019). Nevertheless, teachers’ knowledge of assessment is an undisputed factor in determining the validity of assessment. Assessment literacy can be understood as teachers’ abilities to comprehend the meaning, forms, purposes, strategies, and techniques of assessment, and apply them appropriately. According to the Michigan Assessment Consortium (2015), assessment literacy encompasses a range of beliefs, knowledge, and practices that enable teachers and other stakeholders to utilize assessment effectively for enhancing student learning and achievement. It involves having the necessary knowledge, skills, and processes to design, select, implement, and score. It utilizes high-quality assessments that contribute to improved student learning outcomes. In essence, assessment literacy empowers educators to make informed decisions about assessment methods and utilize assessment data to support and enhance student learning. The essential knowledge and performance components are presented in Figure 1 below. Figure 1: Essentials of assessment literacy (Adapted from Michigan Assessment Consortium, 2020, pg. 5)
  • 11. 4 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Traditionally, the paradigm of assessment was utilized as a mere tool for learners’ evaluation. Over time, educational researchers have broadened the dimensions to encompass ‘Assessment as Learning’, ‘Assessment for Learning’ and ‘Assessment of Learning’. ‘Assessment for learning’ provides information about learners during their learning and assists teachers in obtaining information about students' learning and teaching practices that can be modified to improve learning. On the other hand, 'Summative and Formative assessments:’ refer to the traditional summative evaluation process, which provides evidence of students' learning at the end of the learning period, while ‘Assessment as Learning’ is a self-monitoring tool used by learners to evaluate their learning. In a nutshell, assessment literacy is demonstrated when teachers have sufficient knowledge of assessment as well as the capacity to comprehend its shifting paradigm from teachers to learners and traditional to alternative assessments. These assessments are to be practiced in classrooms to cater to learners' autonomy, transparency, and evaluation preferences. Studies have found that teachers’ assessment literacy has a statistically significant impact on learners’ achievement, thus illustrating the need for an effective teaching environment and motivated assessment design (Mellati & Khademi, 2018). Teachers’ assessment styles, preferences, and actions significantly influence students’ learning experiences and achievement (Hattie & Timperley, 2008; DeLuca et al., 2018). In a closed academic environment, it is difficult for teachers to develop assessment literacy by themselves without intervention. However, researchers also report that teachers’ knowledge of assessment is insufficient and argue that even when teachers have a considerable understanding of assessment, they do not put their knowledge into practice (Nurdiana, 2020). The emphasis of the educational evaluation system relies on the cognitive capacities of learners; that is, memory and verbal skills, rather than 21st-century skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Studies have identified a disparity between teachers' practice and students’ preference for assessment. The contemporary approach to assessment focuses on utilizing alternative methods such as projects, portfolios, and active performance tasks, which are learner-centric education approaches. Alternative assessments, when used with the right strategies, can be used effectively to assess learning outcomes (Adama et al., 2023). Alternative assessment is characterized as an alternative to standardized, norm- referenced, multiple-choice testing. It includes student involvement in setting learning goals, assessment criteria, and even task alignment. In line with the skill- oriented context of learning, alternative assessment involves the application of higher order thinking, problem solving skills, meta-cognition, collaboration, and intrapersonal skills. Furthermore, it follows a constructive approach to instruction, wherein contextualization in real-world applications, the use of specified criteria and defined standards of performance (Madellan, 2004) are considered. Additionally, the contemporary assessment approach also advocates equity in assessment, students’ preferences for assessment, and transparency of assessment, all of which significantly influence the achievement and learning environment. This is based on learner-centric education; learner-centric teaching and learning
  • 12. 5 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter assessment focuses on helping learners to think critically, solve real-life problems, evaluate evidence, analyse situations and progress towards higher-order thinking skills. The traditional practices, based on teachers’ instinctive judgment or preferences, affect the learning process. Assessment practices must come from teachers’ judgement based on assessment theories, conceptual clarity, and learners’ preferences. In all forms of education, assessment drives learning and, therefore, it is necessary to study students’ attitudes toward different assessment formats before implementing a new curriculum (Holzinger et al., 2020). Nevertheless, the level of teachers' understanding and proficiency in assessment strategies significantly influences their assessment practices at all educational levels (Deneen & Brown, 2016). As emphasized in a previous study by Popham (2009), assessment literacy remains a crucial domain that demands continuous attention and investment in faculty development, both in the present and future contexts. Thus, the discussion highlights certain gaps that include the need for further exploration of learners' preferences and needs in assessment (Holzinger et al., 2020; Thomas & Jessop, 2018), enhanced assessment literacy among teachers in higher education (Mellati & Khademi, 2018; Zulia, 2020), and adapting assessment practices for online learning environments (Dutta, 2020; Joshi et al., 2021). One specific problem that has been identified is the disparity between learner- preferred and teacher-preferred assessment tools in higher education (HE). There is a need to ensure that assessment methods align with students' learning needs and preferences (Holzinger et al., 2020). Addressing these gaps in assessment literacy and exploring alternative assessment methods, such as projects, portfolios, and active performance tasks, can lead to a more equitable and learner- centred approach to assessment in higher education (Adama et al., 2023). In the context of a multidisciplinary university within the higher education ecosystem, the present study aims to explore the assessment literacy of higher education (HE) teachers. It examines HE teachers’ preferences and reflections on assessment practices and highlights the disparities between learner-preferred and teacher-preferred assessment tools. Additionally, the study discusses the identified gaps, orientation needs, and the importance of training in alternative assessment methods. Operationally, assessment literacy in the present research was based on the knowledge component (Fig. 1), with the perspective of understanding teachers’ conceptual comprehension of the concept – ‘Assessment in education’. Though this may not be the comprehensive meaning of the term, it includes the essence of it. Thus, the aim was to assess the conceptual assessment literacy of practicing teachers to understand their preconceived understanding of assessment with respect to its meaning, forms and purpose, as well as the strategies and techniques of assessment in education. Teachers’ current assessment practices were also considered. Thus, the present study aims: (A) to gauge assessment literacy among teachers of higher education;
  • 13. 6 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter (B) to identify the current assessment practices in higher education; and (C) to determine the need for alternative assessment practices in light of teachers’ reflections. 2. Literature Review The traditional approach to assessment in higher education is facing significant issues in terms of its alignment with learning outcomes and objectives. These issues include compromised reliability, limitations in assessing higher-order learning, and a lack of transparency in the evaluation and scoring process. Conventional assessment relies on ‘pen and paper’ types of assessments with simple measurement instruments such as quizzes, true/false questions, and matching types, while this remains at odds with the learning objectives and aims of higher education. Thus, learners’ ability to perform independently or in novel contexts is not represented through scores and the learners are not informed of how learning has occurred (Pereira et al., 2015; Knight, 2002). Research suggests that the most used traditional assessment tools are multiple-choice tests, true/false tests, short answers, and essays (Dikli, S., 2003). When the traditional assessment methods are used for summative assessment, the same limitations are carried forward into formative assessment in the absence of teachers’ assessment literacy. In response to these challenges, exploring alternative assessment practices becomes imperative. These can be better connected to real-life applications, providing opportunities for learners to utilize their analytical, critical thinking, reasoning skills. Methods include self-assessment and peer assessment in a problem-based learning environment, stimulating deep learning and critical thinking (Segers & Dochy, 2001 assessment). These practices offer promising alternatives to traditional assessment methods, providing opportunities for learners to engage actively in their own learning process and to develop higher-order cognitive skills. The assessment must not completely depend on situational learning or problem-based learning. Considering that the students’ approach to learning may depend on the type of assessment used, teachers should employ a diverse range of assessment methods to actively engage students in the learning process. However, researchers also argue that the use of multiple methods of assessment may be confusing for learners to internalize the goals of assessment (Thomas & Jessop, 2018). Different assessment practices can influence students’ achievement and student-oriented factors such as commitment, difficulty level, study skills, parental support, and the institution’s student support system also play a major role (Mekonnen & Besha, 2019). It has been found that teacher’s assessment literacy also has a statistically significant impact on learners’ writing achievements, reinforcing the need for effective and motivated assessment designs (Mellati, M., & Khademi, M., 2018). Research has also highlighted other factors influencing achievement that can be explained at the micro-level, meso-level, and macro-level. Micro-levels include factors such as teachers’ personal beliefs, knowledge, experience, and conceptions. Meso-levels deal with institution-level culture and practices, and macro-levels deal with system assessment policies, values, and protocols (DeLuca et al., 2019). Therefore, the selection and integration of multiple assessment methods should be undertaken thoughtfully to ensure clarity and coherence in
  • 14. 7 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter communicating the learning objectives to learners. Researchers have also found volume and variety in assessment methods to be an independent factor affecting achievements. The modern assessment practice emphasizes learners' preferences in selecting assessment tools. Holzinger et al. (2020) studied 439 medical students and found that learners prefer objective question formats (aka Multiple-Choice Questions) above other types of assessment. Thomas and Jessop (2018) studied programme assessment data from 73 courses across 14 universities in the UK to determine the difference in assessment loads across the courses. The volume of summative and formative assessment, examinations proportions and varieties of assessment methods were put into use. The study found that research-intensive courses have higher summative assessment loads and a greater proportion of examinations compared to teaching-intensive courses, which have greater varieties of assessment. Mellati and Khademi (2018) studied the impact of teachers’ assessment literacy on current assessment practices and writing outcomes using teachers’ assessment literacy inventory, semi-structured interviews, non-participatory observation, and Writing Competence Rating Scale (WCRS). The findings highlighted that teachers’ assessment literacy has a statistically significant impact on learners’ achievement. Furthermore, teachers’ assessment awareness induces an effective teaching environment and motivated assessment design. Zulia (2020) explored teachers’ perceptions of classroom-based assessment and the extent to which they are reflected in their practice. The study involved a survey of 22 participants, interviews with five participants and documentary evidence of assessments. The research concluded that the teachers had a good level of assessment literacy and were aware of the principles of classroom-based assessment, although the quality of the assessment methods used was questioned. DeLuca et al. (2019), in their descriptive study, provided empirical evidence for assessment literacy as a differential and situated professional competency. Contemporary views were gathered on five common classroom scenarios. The study involved 453 participants to explore the assessment literacy of teachers and examine their approaches towards assessment in different classroom scenarios. The study provided empirical evidence supporting the notion that assessment literacy is a differentiated and context-dependent professional competency. The findings revealed significant differences in teachers' assessment approaches across teaching divisions and career stages. The complexity of factors such as teaching grade, subject, and individual characteristics also influenced teachers' assessment practices within specific contexts. These findings highlight the need for teachers to develop assessment literacy skills to enhance their understanding and implementation of effective assessment practices. In a review study, Nurdiana (2020) found that some teachers’ assessment literacy is insufficient, while other teachers have a high degree of assessment literacy but do not put their knowledge into practice. Khadijeh and Rezaei (2015) stated that assessment literacy is important as it enables teachers to perceive, analyse, and use data on student performance to thereby improve their teaching. The absence of assessment literacy can therefore be seen as a form of ‘professional suicide’ (Popham, 2011, p. 269).
  • 15. 8 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter In the Indian context, researchers have mainly focused their attention on assessment literacy among schoolteachers, with the exception of a few studies that have addressed the need for faculty development in Higher Education. Govindarajan and Srivastava (2020) focus on the potential impact of remote teaching in higher education, and indirectly touch upon the importance of assessment literacy in this context. Their article explores the transformative potential of remote teaching in higher education. The authors compare the current shift to virtual learning. As the education landscape transitions to online platforms, it becomes crucial for educators to possess a strong understanding of assessment practices and techniques that can effectively measure student learning in virtual environments. Therefore, as the future of higher education evolves towards remote teaching, assessment literacy remains a critical component for educators to navigate the challenges and optimize student learning outcomes. Dutta (2020) explored the impact of digital social media on Indian higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The author examined the use of social media platforms for disseminating learning resources to students and analysed the effectiveness of online classes and e-learning pedagogy through qualitative analysis. The findings reveal that the lockdown and shift to online learning have had a significant impact on students, causing stress, anxiety, and a sense of helplessness. On the other hand, the provision of online classes has proven beneficial, not only in terms of educational advancement but also for students' mental well-being. The study indicated the importance of assessment literacy in online education and suggested the need to be proficient in designing and conducting assessments online. In a similar study, Joshi et al. (2021) explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and focussed on teachers' perspectives on online teaching and assessments. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis, the study identified four main categories of barriers faced by teachers: challenges in home environment settings; institutional support barriers; technical difficulties; and personal problems. The findings underscore the importance of assessment literacy among teachers to overcome these barriers and ensure effective online teaching and assessment practices. Thus, while assessment literacy has not received significant attention directly, researchers have highlighted the need for increased focus on faculty development in higher education, confirming the necessity for further research on assessment literacy. 3. Methodology This study employed a descriptive survey design. 58 teachers from 16 disciplines within a single multidisciplinary university participated in the study. Incidental sampling method was employed, with selection being based on voluntary participation, accessibility, and availability. Individuals had the autonomy to decide whether or not to participate in the study. This ensured that participants had a genuine interest in the research topic and were more likely to provide valuable insights (Creswell, 2014; Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2018). The participation in the survey is presented in Table 1.
  • 16. 9 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Table 1: Survey sample details Discipline n Discipline n Health Science 2 English Language 2 Medicine 2 Liberal Arts 1 Nursing 5 Economics 1 Information Technology 3 Banking and Finance 2 Computer Studies 4 Management Studies 13 Technology 13 Media and Communication 2 Design 4 Telecommunication 1 Architecture 1 Biological Science 2 Total Sample Size (N)= 58 Where 'n' stands for number of samples There were 58 participants from 16 disciplines, as presented in Figure 2. Figure 2: No. of participants according to participants’ disciplinary affiliations 3.1 Tool for data collection A researcher-made questionnaire (Appendix I) was used for assessing ‘Assessment Literacy’ including both open-ended and close-ended questions. A systematic process was followed to design and develop the questionnaire. Tool development: The tool development process included:- 1. Group discussion with a panel of five experts, consisting of faculty members from teacher education, experienced researchers, and practitioners in the field of assessment, with the purpose of outlining the scope, identifying key constructs and dimensions of tools. 2. Designing close-ended questions (MCQs) and framing open-ended questions. 3. Content validation from researcher and language experts. 4. Pilot testing the questionnaire.
  • 17. 10 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter 5. Expert validation after refinement. 6. Finalization of the questionnaire. Nature of the questionnaire: The questionnaire included both open- and close- ended questions to capture two aspects: 1. Assessment literacy; and 2. Assessment practices. The assessment literacy aspects encompassed dimensions such as the concept of assessment, forms and functions of assessment, purpose of assessment literacy, and strategies and techniques of assessment. Assessment practices aspects focused on the purpose of assessment, ongoing strategies, learner- preferred assessment strategies, and teacher-preferred assessment strategies. The questionnaire was designed for measuring HE teachers' assessment literacy. Close-ended MCQs were added to retain objectivity and simplicity in assessment (Ben-Simon et al., 1997), while open-ended questions were included in order to avoid bias through suggested responses (Reja, U., et al. 2003). Also, they were used to gain HE teachers’ insights into their current assessment practices. Thus, the questionnaire (Appendix I) included a set of 15 questions - both closed and open-ended. The main aims were to gauge the teachers’ assessment literacy and to identify the current assessment strategies used by the teachers, as shown in Table 2. Table 2: Nature of questionnaire S.N. Purpose No. of questions Details I Assessment literacy aspects 1 Meaning of assessment 3 Multiple choice questions (MCQs) - • Incomplete statement format 2 Forms and functions of assessment 3 • Scenario-based 3 Purpose of assessment literacy 2 • Image-based 4 Strategies and techniques of assessment 2 • Single response II Assessment practices 5 Purpose of assessment 1 • Open-ended reflections 6 Ongoing strategies for assessment 1 7 Learner-preferred assessment strategies 1 8 Teacher-preferred assessment strategies 1 9 Successful assessment practices 1 3.2 Research Process Initially, a literature review was performed to establish the theoretical foundations of assessment literacy and related concepts. This involved examining national and international documents, research papers and articles in the field, highlighting studies and findings to establish a strong theoretical framework. This helped outline the essential components for assessing the assessment literacy of the HE teachers. Subsequently, three rounds of discussion with a panel of six
  • 18. 11 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter experts were held to develop the structure of the 15-question tool for the Assessment of Higher Education Teachers’ Assessment Literacy and to obtain content validity for it. The questionnaire data were collected using a Google form after obtaining permission. The data were gathered using both quantitative and qualitative processes. This helped to investigate the assessment literacy and gain insights into the assessment practices employed by teachers. The collected data were then analysed using basic statistical methods. The findings were presented using percentages, tables, and graphs to represent the results and help uncover the patterns in the data. These patterns ultimately gave insights for drawing the conclusions of the research. The research process is summarized in Figure 3. Figure 3: The research process 4. Data Analysis and Results Descriptive statistics were used for the close-ended questions, mostly using percentage and graphical representation. The qualitative data gathered through open-ended questions were subjected to thematic analysis. Furthermore, the quantification of qualitative data was achieved using frequency of occurrence to understand the trends and patterns for objective 2. The data analysis is represented under the three sections presented below. Section A – (For objective 1: Assessment literacy among teachers of higher education) 1) Participants’ assessment literacy (Tables 3 and 4) 2) Teachers’ responses on the purpose of assessment (Table 5) Section B – (For objective 2: To identify the current assessment practices in higher education) 3) Online and offline assessment strategies used by teachers (Figure 6) 4) Teachers’ responses on learner-preferred current assessment practices (Figure 7) 5) Teacher-preferred current assessment practices (Figure 8)
  • 19. 12 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Section C- (For objective 3: To determine the need for alternative assessment practices in light of teachers’ reflections) 6) Rationalizations for preferred assessment strategies (Table 8) 7) Teachers’ reflections on successful and unsuccessful assessment strategies (Table 9) The major findings are: 1. The majority of teachers (79%) have moderate levels of assessment literacy, compared to 16% teachers with a low level and only 5% showing a high level of assessment literacy. 2. Teachers lack clarity in aspects of assessment literacy such as tests, ‘Assessment for learning’ and ‘Assessment of learning’, various types of assessments, purpose of evaluation, strategies and techniques of alternative assessments. 3. Currently, teachers vastly prefer offline practices and so training in alternative online strategies is needed. 4. Greater emphasis was laid on individual performance and knowledge recall in teacher-preferred assessments. 5. The top three assessments preferred by learners were Case analysis/Discussion/Presentation (20%), Quiz/MCQs (16%), and Project (group/Field/live) (14%). 6. Though teachers have been using varied assessment strategies, there is a gap in teacher-preferred and student-preferred strategies. 7. Teachers are aware of the specific purpose/reasoning for the assessment strategies they have been practicing. 8. Certain students’ preferences for strategies such as debates, research- based assignments, simulation, seminar and reflections are not taken into consideration for regular assessment. 9. Descriptive questions, online written exams, group presentations, open book online exams and use of whiteboard are examples of strategies that need training to convert them into successful strategies. 10. There is a need to improve assessment literacy among teachers. A. Assessment Literacy After recording the individual scores of the respondents, these scores were grouped into three assessment literacy levels; low, medium and high. This scale is shown in Table 3. Table 3: Assessment literacy level Assessment Literacy (AsL) AsL Level Scores n Low Under 33% 9 Moderate Up to 66% 46 High Above 66% 3 N 58
  • 20. 13 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter The distribution of the assessment literacy levels (Figure 4) indicates moderate assessment literacy in the majority of respondents (79%), compared to 16% of teachers who showed only a low level and just 5% showing a high level. Figure 4: Assessment literacy levels Data gathered using the MCQs were analysed, as shown in Table 4. Table 4: Assessment literacy Assessment Literacy (AL) aspects Components of AL Component code Percentage of HE teacher with Correct response Incorrect response Concept of assessment Meaning of a test M 44.83% 55.17% Individual assessment needs – altering assessment IAN 58.62% 41.38% ‘Assessment for learning’ and ‘Assessment of learning’ AoL/AfL 12.07% 87.93% Forms and functions of assessment Difference between formative and summative assessment FA/SA 81.03% 18.97% Function of formative assessment Fn. 72.41% 27.59% Various types of assessment T 27.59% 72.41% Purpose of assessment Purpose of assessment PA 68.97% 31.03% Purpose of evaluation PE 32.76% 67.24% Strategies and techniques of assessment Appropriateness of assessment strategies A 55.17% 44.83% Strategies and techniques for alternative assessment S/T 17.24% 82.76% Where total number of sample (N)=58
  • 21. 14 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter The assessment literacy aspects have been depicted in Figure 4, shown below: Figure 5: Teachers’ assessment literacy The data revealed that more than half of the teachers were not clear about concepts such as testing, measurement, assessment and evaluation in education. Many of the participants lacked knowledge regarding alternative approaches to assessment while the majority of them (88%) were unsure about the essential concepts related to ‘Assessment for learning’. Thus, teachers lack clarity in their understanding of the term assessment. Although most of the teachers (81%) were aware of the meaning of – and difference between – formative and summative assessment, they had lesser understanding of other forms of assessment such as diagnostic, norm-referenced, and criterion-referenced assessments. The purpose of assessment and evaluation was not clear to many of the teachers (68% and 67%, respectively). Very few teachers (17%) demonstrated an understanding of the strategies and techniques of assessment, which confirms the need for conceptual clarity. Furthermore, a lack of clarity on the appropriateness of the assessment strategies was found in almost half of the respondents (45%). The results of the open responses received from teachers regarding the purpose of assessment are listed below in Table 5, indicating the 21 key themes that emerged from the thematic analysis. Open-ended item 1: In your view, what is the purpose of assessment? Presented in Table 5, below, are the key themes that emerged from teachers' responses on the purpose of assessment, reflecting a diverse range of perspectives.
  • 22. 15 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Table 5: Teachers’ responses on the purpose of assessment SN Teachers' responses on the 'Purpose of Assessment' SN Teachers' responses on the 'Purpose of Assessment' SN Teachers' responses on the 'Purpose of Assessment' 1 Evaluate students’ understanding 8 Identify learners’ interest 15 Ensure student engagement 2 Understand best teaching practices 9 Judge the knowledge 16 Assess learners’ acquired skills and abilities 3 Collect relevant information on students’ performance 10 Understand learning requirements 17 Decide on promotion 4 Differentiate between excellent and poor students 11 Understand difficult topic/content 18 Make decisions about progression 5 Provide help to students having learning difficulties 12 Identify difficult topics and modify teaching methods accordingly 19 Provide feedback based on learning 6 Reflect on the effectiveness of the adopted pedagogy 13 Determine how well learning matches with the outcomes/ expectations 20 For exams 7 Identify learning styles 14 Gauge the transfer and assimilation of knowledge 21 Understand the learning process The responses indicate that teachers believe assessment serves multiple purposes, including supporting holistic development, promoting reflective teaching and learning, driving student engagement and progress, enabling personalized instruction, and encompassing a range of objectives to enhance the educational experience. The responses can broadly be classified under five main themes indicating the purposes of assessment: 1) Evaluation and Differentiation; 2) Understanding Teaching and Learning; 3) Judging Learners' Interest and Knowledge; 4) Understanding Difficult Topics and Learning Outcomes; 5) Student Engagement, Progression, and Feedback. Even though some responses lacked clarity and specificity, making it difficult to understand the intended actions or strategies associated with those purposes, it can be inferred that the majority of the responses focus on quantitative assessment methods, potentially overlooking the value of qualitative approaches that provide deeper insights into students’ learning. Also, there are implicit assumptions about the purpose of assessment, such as ranking students or making progression decisions, which are teacher-centric. These should be critically examined to ensure a more comprehensive and student-centred approach. Furthermore, student involvement in the assessment process is not prominently mentioned, despite its potential to foster student ownership of learning.
  • 23. 16 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter B. Current Assessment Practices To understand the current assessment practices implemented by teachers, data related to learners’ preferred strategies and teachers’ preferred strategies were gathered and the results are presented as follows. Open-ended item 2: What are the strategies you are using to assess your students? Data revealed that the teachers generally use offline assessment strategies as opposed to online strategies, as shown below in Figure 6. Figure 6: Use of the offline and online assessment strategies mainly used by teachers Practical, demonstration, open book test, article writing/evaluation, debates, tutorials, written assignments, seminars, mind maps, open-ended questions, pair- share, portfolios, panel discussion, journal writing, term-end papers, research- based assignments, lab tests, analysing company white papers, report writing, movie reviews, video analysis and role plays are the offline strategies used by 2- 3% teachers. When asked for the online assessment strategies they employ, respondents listed such strategies as personal interaction in online mode, experiential learning, dialogue, online lectures, class participation, punctuality in joining classes, involvement and participation, attentiveness, timely submission of assignments, self-assessments, Google forms, Edmodo, Google classroom, peer review of class work, exercises that have a reflective component, online extempore sessions, oral practical activities, problem solving, break-out rooms, interactive online tasks and rubrics for evaluation. Many of these are not even assessment strategies, indicating the teachers’ lack of conceptual clarity. Open-ended item 3: What are the assessment strategies most preferred by your students? The main themes that emerged through thematic analysis for learners’ preferred assessment strategies are shown in Figure 7, along with their frequency of occurrence.
  • 24. 17 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Table 6: Current Assessment Practices: Learner Preferred Current Assessment Practices: Learner Preferred Assessment types Percent f Case analysis/Discussion/Presentation 20% 12 Quiz/MCQs 16% 9 Project (group/field/live) 14% 8 Discussion 12% 7 Online assessment (Mentimeter, Spinwheel) 11% 6 Assignment 10% 6 Written exam/ paper-pencil tests 8% 5 Viva / Oral presentation 6% 3 Seminars/ Lab tests 3% 2 Total 58 Figure 7: Learner-preferred current assessment practices Apart from these commonly used strategies, other strategies such as home assignments, open-ended questions, practical tasks, demonstrations, debates, journals, research-based assignments, role plays, tutorials, written tests, games, group discussions, think-pair-share, mini cases, simulation, choral reading, Socratic seminars, interactive videos, reflections and mock interviews were additional strategies sometimes used by some of the teachers. Open-ended item 4: Which assessment strategies do you prefer, and why? The responses were categorized based on the assessment types preferred by the teachers and represented in the table below (Table 7). Table 7: Current Assessment Practices: Teacher Preferred Current Assessment Practices: Teacher Preferred Assessment types Percent f Quiz/MCQs 27% 16 Viva 15% 9 Online assessment (e.g. Mentimeter, Spinwheel) 15% 9 Case analysis/Discussion/Presentation 12% 7
  • 25. 18 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Presentation 7% 4 Assignment (group/individual) 7% 4 Project (group/field/live) 5% 3 Written exams 5% 3 Discussions 5% 3 Practical tasks 2% 1 Total 58 Figure 8: Teacher-preferred current assessment practices In terms of the assessment types preferred by learners, the top three choices were case analysis/discussion/presentation (20%), quiz/MCQs (16%), and project (group/field/live) (14%). These assessment methods tend to promote active engagement, collaborative learning, and practical application of knowledge. On the other hand, the most preferred assessment types of teachers were quiz/MCQs (27%), viva (15%), and online assessments (e.g. Mentimeter, Spinwheel) (15%). This indicates a greater emphasis on individual performance and knowledge recall in teacher-preferred assessments. One notable difference was the higher preference for discussion as an assessment type among learners (12%) compared to teachers (5%). This suggests that learners value opportunities for dialogue and exchanging ideas during assessments, which aligns with their desire for active participation and engagement in the learning process. Assignment was chosen by 10% of learners compared to 7% of teachers, indicating that learners appreciate assignments as a means to demonstrate their understanding and apply their knowledge. Conversely, teachers placed a higher emphasis on viva (15%) and presentation (7%) as preferred strategies for assessment, suggesting a focus on evaluating oral communication skills and the ability to deliver information effectively. Despite these differences, both learners and teachers showed a shared preference for online assessments, with 11% and 15%, respectively. This suggests a recognition of the benefits and convenience offered by technology-mediated assessments in facilitating learning and providing timely feedback.
  • 26. 19 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Overall, the data highlights a difference in preferences between learners and teachers regarding assessment types (shown in Figures 7 and 8). Learners tend to gravitate towards assessments that involve active participation, collaborative activities, and real-world applications, while teachers lean towards assessments that focus on individual performance and traditional evaluation methods. Understanding these differences can help in designing assessment strategies that align with the needs and preferences of both learners and teachers, promoting effective and engaging assessment practices. The main reasons given for the selection of assessment strategies are presented in section C. C. Teachers’ Reflections Reflections by the teachers on their preferred assessment strategies and the reasons for their selections are presented below in Table 8. Table 8: Rationales for preferred assessment strategies Teachers’ preferred assessment strategies Teachers’ reasons for their selection of assessment strategies Quiz • Objective • Useful for formative assessment • Fast, less time-consuming • Accurate analysis of the learning Viva • Clear picture about each student • Overall understanding of students • No room for copying, easy to gauge students • Opportunity for individual assessment • Real-time analysis • Immediate overview of students’ understanding without any bias Case studies/ analysis/discussion/ presentation • Evokes real-time thinking • Students study a lot • Allow students to write without fear of judgment MCQs • Preferred by students • Easy to conduct and evaluate • Less time-consuming • Reduce chances of ambiguity • Easy to check the basics • Convenient Presentation • Opportunity for personal interaction • Student involvement • Real-life applications • Presentation skills, develops confidence • Quick feedback can be given Projects (group/ field/live) • Summarization • Knowledge application • Peer learning • Students choose what they like to work on
  • 27. 20 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter • Encourages team spirit and student interaction • Scope for creativity Written exams • Test the learning of students • Check writing ability and knowledge of students Discussions • Room for group work Open-ended questions • Opportunities for students to express themselves Article analysis • Analytical abilities • Cover contemporary issues not found in textbooks Game-based learning • Assists self-evaluation • Enhances practical skills Open book test • Challenging Interactive video case • Apply theoretical learning to a practical scenario The findings indicated that teacher-centric strategies focus on assessing learning outcomes and gaining insights into students' progress, while student-centric strategies emphasize assessment for learning and creating an interactive learning environment. The reasons given for the selection of these strategies include objectivity, time efficiency, real-time analysis, personal interaction opportunities, and skill development. Thus, more attention is currently paid to ‘Assessment of Learning’ rather than ‘Assessment as learning’ or ‘Assessment for learning’. The HE teachers' preferences for assessment tools and their rationales indicate that there is a lower priority on promoting deeper understanding, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, creativity, collaboration, and self-evaluation. On the other hand, alternative assessment strategies prioritize engagement and the active involvement of students in the assessment process. The participants’ preferred assessment strategies are primarily based on traditional methods. These strategies are chosen for their objectivity, efficiency in administration, ability to provide a clear understanding of students' performance, opportunities for individual assessment, and real-time analysis. Consequently, the preferences expressed in the table reflect a predominant reliance on teacher-centric assessment approaches aimed at evaluating students' knowledge and comprehension of the subject matter. Furthermore, the table displayed the HE teachers’ rationales for selecting specific assessment tools, which were based on factors such as objectivity, formative assessment opportunities, real-time analysis, student engagement, ease of administration and evaluation, and the ability to measure overall learning. These considerations reflect the goals and priorities of the teachers in assessing student progress and promoting effective learning outcomes. The table also highlights the limited evidence of teachers' knowledge and utilization of alternative assessment methods. Alternative strategies such as case
  • 28. 21 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter studies, discussions, projects, game-based learning, open-book tests, article analysis, and interactive video cases offer opportunities for students to demonstrate practical skills, engage in collaborative learning, apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios, and express their thoughts and ideas. These methods promote critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and self- evaluation. The findings indicate that there is a lack of clarity among teachers regarding assessment-related terms such as strategies, tools, and approaches. Certain student-preferred strategies, including debates, research-based assignments, simulations, seminars, and reflections, were not taken into consideration. However, the reasons for their selection of specific strategies indicated clarity among teachers in using them for assessments. Thus, the limited mention of alternative assessment tools (as shown in the table) suggests that teachers may have limited awareness or understanding of the potential benefits and applications of these methods. It is essential for educators to enhance their assessment literacy and explore diverse assessment approaches that cater to the varying needs and preferences of students. By incorporating alternative assessment methods into practice, teachers can create a more inclusive and engaging learning environment that fosters deeper understanding, critical thinking, and greater skill development. Open-ended item 5: Reflect on your ‘successful’ and ‘unsuccessful’ assessment practices during the past two years. Reflections on item 5 were collected from the respondents. The results are indicated in Table 9, as follows. Table 9: Reflections on successful and unsuccessful assessment strategies Successfully implemented assessment strategies Unsuccessful assessment strategies • MCQs and short questions • Viva (online/offline) • Continuous quizzes • Verbal assessment • Quizzes • Tests • Projects • Home assignments • Case analysis • Article writing • Project-based learning • Descriptive questions • Online written exams • Group presentations • Open book online exams • Term-end conventional tests • Use of whiteboard Reflections on the successes and failures of various assessment strategies in online and offline modes were mixed. MCQs, short questions, viva (online/offline), continuous quizzes, verbal assessment, quizzes, tests, projects, home assignments, case analyses, article writing, and project-based learning were successful
  • 29. 22 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter strategies, while descriptive questions, online written exams, group presentations, open book online exams, term-end conventional tests, and use of whiteboard were unsuccessful. Analysis revealed that there is an emerging need for training on innovative, alternative assessments. Comparison between the learner-preferred strategies and the teacher-preferred strategies revealed a mismatch. Apart from commonly used assessment strategies, several other forms – such as home assignment, open- ended questions, practical tasks, demonstrations, debates, journaling, research- based assignments, role plays, tutorials, games, group discussions, think-pair- share, mini-cases, simulations, choral readings, Socratic seminars, interactive videos, reflections, and mock interviews – were preferred by students but were infrequently practiced by teachers. This reinforces the need for the adoption of alternative assessment strategies by teachers. Furthermore, convenience of implementation, less consumption of time, and ease of evaluation were found to be among the prominent reasons given for the selection of assessment strategies. Comparison between Table 8 and Table 9 highlights both the existing knowledge and potential gaps in assessment practices among HE teachers. Table 1 reveals that teachers have a concrete understanding of traditional assessment strategies, as indicated by their preferences. Their reasons for selecting these strategies, such as objectivity, time efficiency, and real-time analysis, demonstrate their awareness of the benefits of these methods in evaluating student performance. However, the limited mention or absence of alternative assessment tools, as shown in Table 8, suggests a need for further training and exploration. Strategies such as debates, research-based assignments, simulations, and seminars, which promote critical thinking and creativity, were not considered by teachers for assessment purposes. This highlights a potential gap in their knowledge of alternative assessment methods. Table 9 provides additional insight by showcasing the assessment strategies that have been successfully implemented and those that have not yielded the desired outcomes. While traditional strategies such as MCQs and written exams were deemed successful, some alternative methods, including group presentations and open book online exams, were not perceived to be as effective. These findings underscore the importance of addressing the training needs of HE teachers in terms of assessment literacy and alternative assessment tools. Comprehensive training programs can equip teachers with the necessary knowledge, skills, and resources to implement a wider range of assessment strategies that cater to diverse student needs and promote deeper learning outcomes. 5. Discussion The present study, based on current assessment practices, showed that assessment literacy among teachers in higher education needs to be improved. Overall, the results suggest that higher education teachers are inclined towards traditional assessment methods. Similar findings were observed in previous studies, indicating persistently low levels of assessment literacy among teachers and a lack of theory-driven instruments in formative assessments (Yan & Pastore, 2022).
  • 30. 23 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Traditional assessment methods are frequently preferred by teachers, compared to other assessment strategies. The findings also underscore persistent gaps between learner-preferred and teacher-preferred assessment practices. Though many teachers use online assessment strategies, few use student-preferred strategies such as debates, research-based assignments, simulations, seminars, and reflections. There was a lack of clarity among teachers on assessment strategies, tools and approaches, thereby indicating inadequate awareness and preparation. The present study thus found differences in the preferred assessment strategies among teachers and learners. The study conducted by Pereira and Flores (2016) provides evidence of such a contradiction between teachers’ conceptions of assessment and the practices on similar lines. Developing ‘assessment literacy’ or ‘learning to assess’ is a complex process that demands continuous negotiation with shifting paradigms of assessment, alongside other evolving educational and pedagogical theories related to individualization, self-assessment, constructive feedback, peer-assessment, spaced learning, and differentiated assessment. A lack of substantial knowledge on assessment practices significantly influences learning outcomes (Oo et al., 2023; DeLuca et al., 2019; Bennett, 2011, as cited in Mellati & Khademi, 2018). Research emphasizes that improved assessment literacy among teachers can develop clarity among learners on the overall process and evaluation criteria. Assessment literacy enhances student engagement and motivation in learning (Hannigan et al., 2022). Teachers’ assessment literacy has a statistically significant impact on learners’ achievement (Mellati & Khademi, 2018). It is apparent from the findings that teachers' reasoning and judgement on assessment methods is more in favour of conventional assessment practices that assess lower-order thinking and recall skills, focusing on evaluating oral communication skills, the ability to deliver information effectively and so on. This translates into a lower inclination towards active participation, collaborative activities, real-world applications, and performance-based approaches that support learner-centred practices. Contrary to the findings of some similar studies (Sun & Zhang, 2022), the teachers’ responses were not completely unsatisfactory. Many teachers practiced strategies such as MCQs, short questions, viva (online/offline), continuous quizzes, verbal assessment, quizzes, tests, projects, home assignments, case analyses, article writing, and project-based learning, which are found to be more successful than strategies such as descriptive questions, online written exams, group presentations, open book online exams, term-end conventional tests, and assessments using interactive whiteboards. Deep-level strategies involving higher order thinking are the preferred assessment tasks and are considered to be successful strategies by higher education teacher participants. The teacher- preferred strategies that elicit responses restricted to lower-level thinking, while involving learners only superficially, have been considered less successful strategies. In their study, Kim and Lee (2021) observed that various factors are responsible for low scores among teachers in assessment literacy, including personal factors, professional factors, institutional culture and factors related to state policy. By promoting a deeper understanding of assessment principles and strategies, educators can design assessments that align with learners' needs and foster higher-order thinking.
  • 31. 24 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter The present study reveals that teachers prefer assessments that are convenient to implement, less time-consuming and easy to evaluate. These preferences indicate an inclination towards the surface approach of completing assessment tasks without demonstrating in-depth learning. Performance-based assessments serve as an alternative to traditional methods and promote deep-level learning. The present findings contradict those of previous research which indicate that learners prefer objective styles of question format (MCQ) above other assessment types (Holzinger, 2020; Dang & Tsang, 2022). However, the findings of the present study indicate learners’ preference for performance-based assessments. Tomas and Jessop (2018) speculate that learners focus on achieving grades and thus mainly concentrate on work that counts towards these. Also, attention needs to be paid to the minimal use of alternative performance-based strategies and the lack of consideration being given to learners’ preferences in assessments. The present research findings align with those of Areekkuzhiyil (2019), who states that deliberate efforts are required from academicians and authorities to make assessments more dynamic and fruitful. Overall, the present study addresses the low levels of assessment literacy, lack of accommodation of learners’ preferred strategies and minimal use of performance- based and alternative assessment strategies. Similar findings were reported in the literature in China, which reveals a lack of assessment literacy among university English teachers (Xu & Brown, 2017). Furthermore, the present work also highlights the need for improving awareness among teachers about various assessment strategies. Previous studies have confirmed that learner-centric assessment practices enhance the active involvement of the students, produce feedback, enable collaboration between students and faculty and allow teachers to realise how learning occurs (Webber, 2012 cited in Pereira et al., 2016). The conventional approach to assessment must be used judiciously, in combination with performance-based assessments, considering the learning outcomes. Holzinger et al. (2020) suggest that MCQs must be well constructed, allowing for the evaluation of taxonomically higher- order skills rather than simply recall or recognition-type questions. Unlike previous research carried out in the area of assessment literacy, this research work presented an apparent depiction of assessment literacy and practices. The study utilized the teacher-preferred assessment strategy (i.e. MCQs) for participants to self-assess their own assessment literacy. Although the perceptions on assessment-related concepts cannot be generalized, they are noteworthy at both local and institutional levels. 6. Recommendations The results indicate that strategies supporting skill enhancement, collaboration, creativity, and performance are less practiced. Teachers need formal training to implement these alternative strategies alongside their regularly practiced assessment strategies. These reflections require further exploration and subsequent data gathering in order to understand the nature of training programmes that should be offered to faculty. Similar surveys can be conducted in future to verify the differences between learner-preferred and teacher-preferred
  • 32. 25 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter assessment practices at higher education level. Learners can also be involved to understand the current assessment practices offered by their teachers in offline as well as online modes of teaching and learning. Teachers' readiness to adopt new alternative means of assessment needs to be addressed as early as possible. In view of the observations and findings, the researchers recommend that further exploration is needed in the area of assessment literacy among higher education teachers and further analysis is needed in terms of alternative assessments. This study can be taken ahead by obtaining data from all the stakeholders and then triangulating it, which will give insight into the concrete needs for alternative assessment training. 7. Conclusion In conclusion, the National Education Policy - 2020 emphasizes the need for a shift towards scientific and formative assessments that focus on the application of knowledge. It highlights the significance of assessment literacy among teachers to ensure the validity and fairness of assessments, as well as the importance of faculty autonomy in fostering innovative teaching and assessment practices (NEP, 2020). However, the findings of the present study address specific research gaps in the field of assessment in higher education. In light of policy expectations and the increasing demands of the modern education system, this study has significant implications for faculty development programs and educational policymakers. The study reveals a need to improve HE teachers' assessment literacy, as evidenced by their lack of clarity regarding tests, the discrepancy between teachers’ and students’ preferences for assessment methods and the limited reference to performance-based, formative and alternative assessment strategies. While some educators exhibit proficiency in specific aspects of assessment, there remains a clear need for comprehensive training on the fundamental principles of educational assessment and evaluation, as well as the implementation of student-centred and performance-based assessment practices (Govindarajan & Srivastava, 2020; Dutta, 2020; Joshi et al., 2021). To address these gaps, targeted training on assessment, reforms in teacher training and development programs are necessary to enhance assessment literacy and promote effective assessment practices that are aligned with learning outcomes. Further research on a larger scale is recommended to better understand the status of assessment literacy as well as the assessment practices in Indian universities and to explore the impact of enhanced assessment literacy on student learning outcomes and the overall learning environment. 8. References Adama, E. A., Graf, A., Adusei-Asante, K., & Afrifa-Yamoah, E. (2023). COVID-19 and alternative assessments in higher education: Implications for academic integrity among nursing and social science students. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40979-023-00129-0 Areekkuzhiyil, S. (2019). Assessment Practices in Higher Education: Myths and Realities. Online Submission. Bayat, K., & Rezaei, A. (2015). Importance of Teachers’ Assessment Literacy. International Journal of English Language Education, 3, 139-148. https://doi.org/10.5296/ijele.v3i1.6887
  • 33. 26 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Al-Thani, S. J., Abdelmoneim, A., Daoud, K., Cherif, A., & Moukarzel, D. (2021). Assessment of student learning outcomes for assurance of learning at Qatar University. Journal of Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness, 4(2), 116-135. https://doi.org/10.5325/jasseinsteffe.4.2.0116 Atjonen, P., Pöntinen, S., Kontkanen, S., & Ruotsalainen, P. (2022). Enhancing preservice teachers' assessment literacy: Focus on knowledge base, conceptions of assessment, and teacher learning. Frontiers in Education, 7, 891391. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2022.891391 Bennett, R. E. (2011). Formative assessment: a critical review. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 18(1), 5–25. https://doi.org/10.1080/0969594x.2010.513678 Can, E., Aktas, F., & Arpacioglu, I. (2017). The reasons of school dropouts in higher education: Babaeski Vocational College case. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 5(12A), 84-88. Chatterjee, S., & Bhattacharjee, K. K. (2020). Adoption of artificial intelligence in higher education: a quantitative analysis using structural equation modelling. Education and Information Technologies, 25(5), 3443–3463. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-020-10159-7 Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2018). Research methods in education (8th ed.). Routledge. Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). Sage Publications. Dang, B. Y., Ho, E., & Tsang, A. (2022). Learner’s assessment preferences in higher education: A comparison study of high-achievers and low-achievers. Asia-Pacific Education Researcher. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40299-022-00679-w DeLuca, C., Coombs, A., MacGregor, S., & Rasooli, A. (2019). Toward a differential and situated view of assessment literacy: Studying teachers' responses to classroom assessment scenarios. Frontiers in Education, 4. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2019.00094 Deneen, C. C., & Brown, G. T. L. (2016). The impact of conceptions of assessment on assessment literacy in a teacher education program. Cogent Education, 3(1). DePascale, C., Sharp A., Ryan K., Damian Betebenner, D. (2018). Building a Conceptual Framework for Assessment Literacy. Assessment Literacy Framework. Dikli, S. (2003). Assessment at a distance: Traditional vs. alternative assessments. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology-TOJET, 2(3), 13-19. Dutta, A. (2020). Impact of Digital Social Media on Indian Higher Education: Alternative Approaches of Online Learning during COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 10(5), 604. http://dx.doi.org/10.29322/IJSRP.10.05.2020.p10169 Gallego, M. G., Perez de los Cobos, A. P., & Gallego, J. C. G. (2021). Identifying students at risk to academic dropout in higher education. Education Sciences, 11, 427. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11090427 Government of India. (2020). National Education Policy 2020. Ministry of Education. Government of India, Ministry of Education. (2020). All India survey on higher education. Govindarajan, V., & Srivastava, A. (2020). What the Shift to Virtual Learning Could Mean for the Future of Higher Ed. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2020/03/what-the-shift-to-virtual-learning-could-mean-for- the-future-of-higher-ed Hannigan, C., Alonzo, D., & Oo, C. Z. (2022). Student assessment literacy: Indicators and domains from the literature. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 29(4), 482-504. https://doi.org/10.1080/0969594X.2022.2121911
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  • 35. 28 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Nieminen, J. H., Bearman, M., & Tai, J. (2023). How is theory used in assessment and feedback research? A critical review. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 48(1), 77–94. Nurdiana. (2020). Language Teacher Assessment Literacy: A Current Review. Journal of English Language and Culture, 11(1). Oo, C. Z., Alonzo, D., & Davison, C. (2023). Using a Needs-Based Professional Development Program to Enhance Pre-Service Teacher Assessment for Learning Literacy. International Journal of Instruction, 16(1), 781-800–800. https://doi.org/10.29333/iji.2023.16144a Paura, L., & Arhipova, I. (2014). Cause Analysis of Students’ Dropout Rate in Higher Education Study Program. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 109, 1282– 1286. Pereira, D. R., & Flores, M. A. (2016). Conceptions and practices of assessment in higher education: A study of Portuguese university teachers. Revista Iberoamericana de Evaluación Educativa, 9(1), 9-29. Pereira, D., Flores, M. A., & Niklasson, L. (2015). Assessment revisited: A review of research in Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 41(7), 1008–1032. Popham, W. J. (2009). Assessment Literacy for Teachers: Faddish or Fundamental? Theory Into Practice, 48(1), 4-11. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405840802577536 Popham, J. (2011). Assessment literacy overlooked: A teacher educator’s confession. The Teacher Educator, 46, 265-273. Segers, M., & Dochy, F. (2001). New Assessment Forms in Problem-based Learning: The value-added of the students’ perspective. Studies in Higher Education, 26(3), 327– 343. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075070120076291 Sun, H., & Zhang, J. (2022). Assessment literacy of college EFL teachers in China: Status quo and mediating factors. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 74, 101157. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stueduc.2022.101157 Tomas, C., & Jessop, T. (2018). Struggling and juggling: A comparison of student assessment loads across research and teaching-intensive universities. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 1–10. UGC. (2019). Assessment and accreditation norms in higher educational institutions. University Grants Commission, India. Wadhwa, S. (2021). Ensuring integrity and security in digital assessments: Challenges and solutions for higher education in India. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 22(2), 80-98. https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v22i2.5629 Wang, H., Sun, W., Zhou, Y., Li, T., & Zhou, P. (2022). Teachers’ assessment literacy improves teaching efficacy: A view from conservation of resources theory. Frontiers in Psychology, 13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1007830 Webber, C. (2012). Standardized examination and higher education in India: Evaluating the influence of the AIEEE on engineering education. Asia Pacific Education Review, 13(2), 205-215. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12564-011-9182-0 Webber, K. (2012). The use of learner-centered assessment in US colleges and universities. Research in Higher Education, 53(2), 201-228. Xu, Y., & Brown, G. T. L. (2017). University English teacher assessment literacy: A survey- test report from China. Papers in Language Testing and Assessment, 6(1). Yan, Z., & Pastore, S. (2022). Are teachers literate in formative assessment? The development and validation of the Teacher Formative Assessment Literacy Scale. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stueduc.2022.101183
  • 36. 29 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Youngjoon, K., & Okseon, L. (2021). Autoethnography of a Novice Teacher’s Assessment Literacy in Elementary Physical Education. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/17482631.2021.1882066 Zulaiha, S., Mulyono, H., & Ambarsari, L. (2020). An Investigation into EFL Teachers’ Assessment Literacy: Indonesian Teachers’ Perceptions and Classroom Practice. European Journal of Contemporary Education, 9(1), 189-199. https://doi.org/10.13187/ejced.2020.1.189 Zulaiha, S., Suryanti, E., & Pramudya, I. (2020). Issues and challenges in assessment of diverse students in higher education: A study in Indonesian context. Journal of Educational Science and Technology, 6(1), 91-101. https://doi.org/10.26858/est.v6i1.12696
  • 37. 30 ©Authors This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research Vol. 22, No. 7, pp. 30-51, July 2023 https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.22.7.2 Received Apr 8, 2023; Revised Jun 15, 2023; Accepted July 10, 2023 Principals’ Leadership Orientation and Students’ Academic Performance in Secondary Schools of Gedeo Zone, Ethiopia RJ (Nico) Botha* University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa Seyoum Gari Aleme Institute of Education and Behavioural Science Dilla University, Dilla, Ethiopia Abstract. As accountability in educational leadership has increased, interest in finding the most rewarding type of principal leadership orientation that helps to improve student performance is enhanced. The lack of agreement on the most rewarding type of leadership orientation among task-focused, relationship-focused or/and change-focused behaviours, as well as the incidence of poor performance by students has resulted in the Gedeo Zone of Ethiopia commissioning us to conduct this study. The objective of the study was to identify the most profitable type of principal leadership orientation that enhances the success of students in the secondary schools of the zone. Three ineffective (least achievers) and three effective (best achiever) schools of the zone were chosen purposively, as sample for the study by using the maximum variation strategy. The total of the sample was 339, of which 321 (n=321) participated in the quantitative part of the study, while 18 were involved in the qualitative part. A questionnaire, semi-structured interviews and document analysis were used as instruments to collect the data. The quantitative data were analysed by using means, standard deviations, correlations, regressions, and line graphs, while the qualitative data were analysed via a content-analytical approach. The findings of this study revealed that high task and change-oriented behaviours among school leadership enhanced the students’ success, while high relationship- oriented behaviours intended to get a mere affiliation affected the learners’ success negatively. High task-oriented behaviours enable principals to initiate work, directing members towards goals, and monitoring members’ performance. The active engagement of principals in teaching and learning activities enhances students’ academic ‘achievements more than mere passive involvement to deal with the challenges they may encounter. Thus, principals are advised to exhibit high task and high change-oriented behaviours, as their engagement * Corresponding author: RJ (Nico) Botha, botharj@unisa.ac.za
  • 38. 31 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter affects other stakeholders to play their role in improving students’ learning. Keywords: leadership; task-oriented; relationship-oriented; change- oriented; Ethiopian secondary schools; students’ performance; Gedeo zone 1. Introduction The role of school principals becomes more demanding and complex, as school activities expand in size and complexity, because of the high expectations of the learners and the parents. Principals, as school leaders, must be capable of inspiring the school community with what they do and how they do it, so that all stakeholders in the school context are motivated to realise the success of all students (Hallinger & Heck, 2010; Onorato, 2013; Tesfaye & Ayalew, 2020). Thus, the complex and continuously changing school environment requires capable school principals, who exert a positive influence by exhibiting the appropriate leadership behaviours that would motivate the school community to work enthusiastically, in order to realise the success of all the students. Studies of effective schools, where nearly all the students are assumed to have reached their performance targets, have demonstrated the importance of studying principals’ leadership behaviours as a major factor determining school success (cf. Louis, et al., 2010; Budohi, 2014; Pinto, 2014; Day et al., 2016; Chia & Lia 2017). In relation to this, the leadership styles of principals are an instrument that helps to influence and shape the process and behaviour of the school community towards realising better achievements for all the students (Hallinger, 2011). More importantly, most researchers have considered only task and relationship- oriented behaviours in their analysis of school effectiveness, while school leaders themselves have in fact exhibited changed behaviours in accomplishing their leadership goals. Consequently, there is a shortage of studies that have considered the effect of all three meta-categories (task, relationship, and change-oriented behaviours) in the field of school leadership and management. Such observed discrepancy in the field makes this study important; as it may contribute to resolving the existing lack of conceptual clarity in the category of leadership orientation and contradictory findings on the most effective type of leadership orientation that enhances better student performance. 2. Objectives and a hypothesis for the study Taking this context into consideration, the objective of the study was to identify the most effective type of principal’s leadership behavioural orientation that has a positive effect on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in the Gedeo zone of Ethiopia. To achieve the above objective, the research question was posed as follows: Which type(s) of principals’ leadership behavioural orientation has/have a positive effect on students’ academic performance in the secondary schools of Gedeo zone, Ethiopia? According to Cohen et al., (2007), “an alternative way of operationalising research questions takes the form of hypothesis raising and hypothesis testing” (p. 82). In
  • 39. 32 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter line with this, we have set a hypothesis as an additional tool to guide our enquiry with the intention of detecting the type and direction of relationship behavior that exists between each type of principal’s leadership orientation and students’ academic performance. The following hypothesis with respect to the effect of a principal’s leadership orientation on the academic performance of students (to be rejected or confirmed by analysing the data collected for this purpose) was phrased: H1: All three types of principals’ leadership orientation (task, relationship, and change) yield a statistically significant academic achievement of students in the secondary schools of Gedeo zone in Ethiopia. 3. The Literature review Leadership behaviours, in the broadest sense, refer to the style leaders exhibit in work that exclusively scrutinises what they do, and how they act in the process of directing people, implementing plans, or motivating followers in pursuit of the goals commonly agreed on (cf. Mullins, 2005; Yukl, 2010; Northouse, 2013). In a school context, the study of leadership behaviours is concerned with what the principals do regarding their respective activities, roles, and responsibilities; and, in addition, how they act instead of searching for the trait or personality characteristics endowed by nature (Yukl, 2010, Northouse, 2016). Leadership behaviours exhibited by a leader at work are important for ensuring a smooth and effective functioning of an organisation and attaining shared goals. Many educational researchers offered evidence of a positive correlation between student academic success and effective leadership behaviours of principals (cf. Brady, 2012; Day et al., 2016; Cruickshank, 2017; Chia & Lia, 2017). Such research findings made the study of leadership behaviour a major focus point for researchers in this field; since it is believed to be significant for increasing personal, as well as organisational satisfaction and performance of employees (Yukl, 2010; Northouse, 2016). Since the leadership style affects aspects, such as the acceptance of decisions, the commitment of stake holders, the satisfaction and productivity of the school, principals must select the appropriate behaviour for the existing context (Botha, 2012). In this sense, the leadership behaviours exhibited by school principals should be appropriate, in order to exert a positive influence on the behaviours of teachers, students, parents and the other stakeholders. The main period of behavioural approaches to leadership occurred between 1945 with the Ohio State and Michigan studies and the mid-1960s, with the development of the Managerial Grid (cf. Mullins, 2005; Yukl, 2010; Northouse, 2016). During this period, most scholars specified two broad dimensions of leadership behaviours that incorporate task accomplishment and satisfy the personal and organisational needs of followers. Task-oriented and relationship- oriented leadership behaviours are therefore a foundation for various types of leadership styles. This dichotomy is multi-faceted, referring to the way in which power is distributed and decisions are made on what needs should be met.
  • 40. 33 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Regarding this point, Bass (1990) relates the features of autocratic and democratic leadership styles to task-oriented and relationship-oriented behaviours. Furthermore, Bass (1990) has shown that the autocratic cluster of behaviours refers to the performance dimension, while the democratic cluster denotes the maintenance dimension. Even though the two-factor dichotomy discussed above encompasses many leadership styles, it fails to consider change-oriented behaviours that are concerned with encouraging and facilitating change, innovation and emotional commitment to the mission of the unit (Yukl, 2010). Furthermore, Yukl (2010) elaborated that by the 1980s, change-oriented behaviour was implicit in some theories of charismatic and transformational leadership. Change-oriented leadership behaviours, as a third meta-category, was mentioned independently in the 1990s by researchers in Sweden (Ekvall & Arvonen, 1991) and in the United States (Yukl, 1999a). Each of the three meta-categories of leadership has a different primary purpose. As stated by Yukl (2010), task-oriented leadership behaviour is primarily concerned with accomplishing the task in an efficient and reliable way, while relations-oriented behaviour is concerned with increasing mutual trust, cooperation, job satisfaction and identification with the organisation. Likewise, the third meta–category of change-oriented behaviour, is primarily concerned with understanding the environment, finding innovative ways to adapt to it and implementing the major changes in strategies, products, or processes. In accordance with this development, the early fixation on considering and initiating a leadership structure appears to have come to an end, as many researchers now examine a broader range of behaviours and types of behaviours that are more specific (Yukl, 2010). Indeed, the classification of the leadership behaviours of task-oriented, relationship-oriented, and change-oriented is a generalised taxonomy that is functional in all types of organisations in a similar way. Most researchers (cf. Armstrong, 2009; Yukl, 2010; Northouse, 2016) who have conducted studies on the effect of leadership orientation on employees’ performance have merely deliberated task and relationship behaviours, overlooking change-oriented behaviours, which school principals are practicing continually in their leadership roles. Evidently, Northouse (2016) stated that “whenever leadership occurs, leaders are acting out both task and relationship behaviours, although in some situation they need to focus on task, whereas in others condition, they may give more emphasis for relationship” (p.83). Based on an overall pattern of research findings, Yukl (2010) asserts that ‘high-task’ and `high-relationship’ oriented leadership behaviours tend to be more effective, even though concentrating on one type of behaviour and less on the others, could also make the organisation effective in specific situations. According to Yukl (2010), depending on circumstances, both styles could lead to an increase in the performance and productivity. From the discussion above it is evident that change-oriented leadership behaviours, recently mentioned and discussed by various scholars as a third meta- category, is indeed exhibited as a leadership behaviour in practice. There are, however, limited research findings that have considered the impact of all three