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THE BENEFITS OF USING SUPPLEMENTARY SELF-ASSESSMENT MATERIALS FOR FOREIGN STUDENTS

One of the main features of globalization in higher education is the promotion of student mobility. The number of foreign students who benefit from mobility grants to study at the University of Jaén, for a semester or a full academic year, has increased significantly over the last few years. Besides, due to the interdisciplinary nature of Operations Research, courses related to this subject are usually included in the academic agreement of students from different degrees and universities. Our teaching experience in these courses highlights the need to seek innovative solutions that motivate this kind of students and help them to improve their academic results.

Irrefutably, assessment is a crucial component of the learning process and a significant factor of formative assessment is giving and receiving feedback. However, this is usually a hard and time-consuming task for teachers due, for example, to the large number of students in class. Consequently, self-assessment tools become an excellent source of feedback for students and reduce the teacher workload considerably.

Taking into account the above considerations, this paper aims to analyse the potentials of designing and using self-assessment resources in English language, for Operations Research courses at the University of Jaén. Besides allowing students to check their own acquisition of knowledge and skills before facing the final assessment of the subject, these self-assessment tools make learning easier and encourage active participation of foreign students in class, make lessons more dynamic, stimulate the autonomy and self-confidence of foreign students, and promote bilingualism.

The paper is organized as follows. First, the concept and foundations of self-assessment will be introduced. Next, the strengths and weaknesses of using self-assessment in the classroom will be discussed. Finally, some recommendations will be given for the implementation of self-assessment in learning, based on the opinion of teachers and students, which confirm that the use of supplementary self-assessment materials does in fact increase the motivation, understanding and participation of foreign students in class.