The Impact of Short-Cycle Formative Assessments on Students' Conceptual Understanding and Beliefs of Learning among Academically Lower Achieving Secondary School Students in Science

Project Number
OER 36/12 ZHE

Project Duration
January 2013 - October 2016


This research will investigate the impact of Short-Cycle Formative Assessments (SCFA) on students' conceptual understanding and beliefs of learning. The main focus of the research will be on lower achieving secondary school students in secondary school. A quasi-experimental design will be used in this research, involving quantitative and qualitative data collection. In this research, a total of 8 classes from two government schools in the average to low academic achieving band will be included. In each school, express and normal academic student groups will participate in the study (one class for the experimental group and one class for the control group in each school). To evaluate the effects of SCFA on students' conceptual understanding and beliefs of learning among academically weaker students in science, pre- and post- questionnaires will be given to both the treatment group and the control group. There will be continuous qualitative data collection whenever appropriate, or at regular intervals such as interviews and mini-tests administered during/after each lesson to investigate/compare how students progress in their conceptual understanding and epistemological beliefs of learning across different school bands and ability groups (express and normal academic). The teachers' practices embedded with SCFA with regard to considering both conceptual and epistemological aspects will be video-recorded. The video clips will be used to identify the effective features of SCFA strategies embedded in their teaching practices, especially for academically weaker students, compared with students in higher ability groups. The research findings will be used to help academically weaker students overcome the difficulties they may have in studying science. The findings will also help teachers to better understand how embedding SCFA in their teaching practices can positively influence students' conceptual understanding of and beliefs of learning in science.

Research Themes

Funding Source

Related Links
ReEd Vol 16 (2014): Formative Assessment in Physics

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