Qualitative assessment across language barriers: an action research study

16 Feb 2016

If students cannot express themselves in the language of the assessor, and if the assessor is not familiar with the cultural constraints within which students operate, it is difficult for the assessor to collect evidence of adequate performance. This article describes the assessment of three digital artefacts where the assessor strove to understand, rather than rate the students and their achievement. Three distinct approaches were followed. The first was positivist, rubric-based. The second was post-structural/interpretive, with groupwork and peer assessment. The third was feminist/holistic relying principally on students? own presentation of video material of what they did. Data sources include artifacts produced by students, assessment rubrics and assessment scores. Results indicate that qualitative assessment with criteria negotiated between the instructor/assessor, the twelve learners and their peers over a period of two years, allowed for a ?thick description? of the evaluation experience that adds to student development. Further research needs to be conducted into standardizing the procedures of auditing assessments, rather than standardizing procedures of assessing.