Teachers' perceptions of current assessment practices in public secondary schools in the State of Qatar

Qassim, Jamal Abdulla S

November 2008

Thesis or dissertation

© 2008 Jamal Abdulla S Qassim. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This study investigated factors related to teachers' assessment practices in public secondary schools in the State of Qatar. It sought to explore practices in relation to selected variables, through teachers' survey responses and focus group interviews. The main objective was to describe the characteristics of teachers' assessment practices in the state and to identify major variables that could have effects on these practices. The research sample consisted of 189 male and 301 female teachers from secondary public schools in Qatar. The different schools in this study were chosen randomly using stratified random sampling.

The study addressed various factors that may influence teachers' practices, including their own perceptions about their skill with the different assessment techniques, in addition to their application of various methods to evaluate students' academic progress. This study considered factors related to assessment practices, including sources that provide teachers with assessments, factors that affect teachers' practices, the educational objectives behind the application of assessments, sources that form teachers' expectations about students' achievement, and abilities that are assessed. Other important aspects examined included strategies implemented to ensure students' involvement in the assessment process, effects of assessments on students' learning, and teachers' perceptions of the effectiveness of previous training programmes and workshops on assessment techniques.

The findings revealed that most teachers believed that they had adequate proficiency with the various assessment strategies, including both the traditional test item forms and most of the alternative assessment procedures. A large number of teachers claimed they employed a variety of methods to assess their students' academic progress.

Teachers' comments showed that they were able and willing to implement different strategies to evaluate their students' learning performance. However, there were some external factors that negatively influenced their application of different assessment forms and restricted their capability to introduce new assessment procedures. Foremost among these were having to comply with assessment plan specifics and score distribution standards. In addition to those, curriculum workload, teaching time and number of students in the classroom also affected teachers' ability to apply the various assessment methods, but to varying degrees.

The responses showed that a great number of teachers had not received any training in assessment methods, particularly new teachers with fewer years of experience. A great number of teachers indicated that they would welcome any further plans to introduce assessment workshops and training sessions in various assessment techniques.

Centre for Educational Studies, The University of Hull
Wright, Nigel
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