Gülen ONURKAN ALİUSTA* and Bekir ÖZER**
*Sen. Inst. Gülen ONURKAN ALİUSTA. Eastern Mediterranean University, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences Department.
** Prof. Dr. Eastern Mediterranean University, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Problem Statement: Most research studies carried out on the use of studentcentred learning (SCL) have mainly focused on the implementation of student-centred teaching and learning methods ignoring other main components, particularly assessment. There has been little empirical research published which focuses on the degree to which student-centred forms of assessment are utilized. As literature on SCL has demonstrated, assessment is an important ingredient of SCL and thus, should be explored while assessing the extent to which SCL is implemented in teaching and learning.
Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to examine the degree to which student-centred assessment methods and strategies are employed in high schools in North Cyprus and further explore whether teachers’ implementation of these methods and strategies vary regarding their characteristics including gender, subject taught, teaching experience and pedagogical knowledge.
Methods: Sequential explanatory design, within mixed-method research was carried out in this study. Student-centred assessment scale was administered to 309 high school teachers followed by semi-structured interviews with 33 teachers chosen purposefully from the scale sample. The data from the scale were analysed using statistical tests on the SPSS program and data obtained from interviews were analysed through content analyses.
Findings and Results: Although the results obtained from the scale indicated variability regarding the degree to which student-centred assessment methods and strategies are used in schools, the interviews demonstrated that student learning is mostly evaluated through traditional paper and pencil tests through midterm and final exams. Alternative assessment methods such as portfolio, projects and performance evaluation that focus on the process rather than product are not included in the assessment system.
Conclusions and Recommendations: Although SCL has been implemented in high schools in North Cyprus since 2005, traditional paper and pencil tests still dominate the assessment system. Exam-oriented assessment used in Turkish Cypriot education system, including ‘university entrance exam’, was found to be the main barrier that hinder the use of student-centred assessment methods and strategies in high schools. Consequently, there is a need for certain amendments in the way students are assessed in high schools. Adopting innovative student-centred forms of assessment such as portfolios and peer- and self-assessment will help maximize the use of SCL in schools.
Keywords: Student-centred learning, student-centred assessment, assessment, high schools.