Evaluation of strategic knowledge of students through authentic tasks of writing in science classroom

Beatriz Álvarez Otero, Carles Monereo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The difficulties at evaluating strategic knowledge have been connected to the use of deconxetualized tests that, at the end, do not involve the use of this knowledge. For this reason, an interest in developing authentic writing tasks that offer advantages for these kinds of evaluation have arisen. Throughout this research, authentic writing tasks were developed in a natural sciences class, with the purpose of evaluating the students' strategic knowledge. Different instruments were used to collect data, e.g. Interviews, questionnaires, a self-inform, as well as three samples of writing by the students, with the objective of analyzing the changes that occurred between one and the others, as well as to determine the decisions that students made in order to complete the assigned tasks successfully. An authentic writing task gives great opportunities to evaluate strategic knowledge. These tasks lead students to arrange their knowledge about the topic in hand, organize and adapt it to fit the objectives and the audience, also, it allows them to control and adjust their decisions on the task. This last stage became the perfect opportunity to take notes on the knowledge and regulation of cognitive processes that the students brought into play, as well as to evaluating their understanding of writing and the demands given on the different discursive genres. As a result, the students showed different degrees of strategic knowledge in the task. The students who showed a better strategic knowledge trust in their structural abilities know about discursive genres and have a good performance in basic linguistic abilities. The students who showed weak strategic knowledge distrust their writing skills, seem extremely worried about organizing the content of their texts, fail when checking their writings, and overlook or are unaware of the basic requirements of the discursive genre they are asked to exemplify. It appears that the previous knowledge and experiences at writing the students have been exposed to may affect the strategic knowledge shown when writing in this subject.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-264
JournalAvances en Psicologia Latinoamericana
Volume28
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Metacognition
  • Science
  • Writing

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