North-West University, Potchefstroom (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 4452-4459
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The practice of comparing results from student self-assessment and teacher/expert assessment is well-known and widely discussed in literature. It has been applied in different subject areas and for different skills. The present study focuses on the assessment of the oral communication skills of beginners in French as a foreign language.

Foreign language students in South Africa have very limited opportunity to practice their oral communication skills. Creating an opportunity for these students is crucial as was stated by Delena-le Roux (2010) and revealed by a survey done amongst first year French students in 2014. Part of the challenge of providing an effective and responsibly coordinated environment can be addressed through CALL principles that allow students to practice the necessary skills.

Software was thus developed to support the creation of a learning cycle that addresses this challenge and that adheres to the principles of Laurillard's (2012) 'Conversational Framework'. This software allows students to record answers to interview type questions, to listen to their responses and to re-record their answers if they wish to do so. Students have access to a model dialogue throughout the process. At the end of the simulated conversation activity students listen to model answers before rating their performance on a scale consisting of four criteria. Click counters are used to measure the number of times students listen to the answers they recorded and how many times they re-record their answers. The information obtained in this way provides a new dimension to the comparison of self- and expert assessment.

These self-assessment results and clicker counts are correlated with assessment results of the expert to discover:
1) if and to what extent the repeated listening and re-recording are related to assessment results and
2) if students’ estimate of their capabilities agrees with results published in literature.

Comparisons are done on individual as well as group level. Gender differences are discussed briefly.

Interviews with participants provide additional information on their perception of the effect of self-reflection, i.e. changes in levels of intrinsic motivation and development of autonomy.

The statistical and qualitative results obtained from this study should provide interesting insights related to the domain of self-assessment versus expert assessment.
CALL, oral communication, self-assessment, Conversational Framework.