Student achievement emotions: Examining the role of frequent online assessment

Keywords: emotions, assessment, online quizzes, control-value theory, mixed-methods

Abstract

The rapid inclusion of online assessment in higher education has left a void in investigating the relationship this form of assessment has with student emotions. This study examines the influence of frequent online assessment on student emotions in a university setting using a mixed-methods approach. Students' emotions in an online quiz and a traditional classroom test in a second-year mathematics course (n = 91) were analysed using both quantitative and qualitative approaches, through the lens of the control-value theory. The study used an adaptation of the Achievement Emotions Questionnaire (AEQ) to collect data on reported student emotions in both assessments, as well as qualitative data on student’s views of the frequent online assessment. Students reported higher levels of positive emotions and lower levels of negative emotions in an online quiz compared to the test, and we attempted to identify sources of these differences. The findings are discussed together with implications for habitualisation of assessment emotions. Practically grounded generalisations are outlined as opportunities for disrupting negative emotions and reaffirming positive emotions, which are suitable for implementation in higher education on a broad scale.

Implications for practice or policy:

  • For educators designing tertiary assessment aimed at promoting positive and reducing negative emotions, we advise incorporating features that students perceive as allowing them greater control over obtaining success.
  • Specifically, we advise incorporating frequent low stakes online quizzes into tertiary courses.
  • These present opportunities for students to habitualise positive assessment-related emotions, which correlate with performance and constructs such as self-efficacy.
  • The Achievement Emotions Questionnaires (AEQ) can be adapted to investigate achievement emotions in different forms of assessment.

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Published
2021-07-10
How to Cite
Riegel, K., & Evans, T. (2021). Student achievement emotions: Examining the role of frequent online assessment. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 75-87. https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.6516
Section
Articles