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初中英语写作教学中电子档案袋评价应用的实验研究

作者:霍娜 日期:2019/3/16 14:14:22 点击:

Abstract

 

Writing plays an important role in English teaching in junior middle schools. Excellent teaching of writing can help students express themselves accurately and fluently, which lays a solid foundation for later writing. In the traditional way of teaching, teachers’ assessment is the only source of students’ writings, and students can revise their writings depending on teachers’ assessment. With the wide application of information technology in teaching, the teaching method is transferred to the method of online teaching on the basis of information technology.

 

E-portfolio assessment is a comprehensive assessment mode which is based on information technology. The empirical research is about the effects of the application of e-portfolio in English writing in Chinese junior middle schools. The thesis adopts the form of empirical research, and the research questions are whether the application of e-portfolio assessment can enhance students’ learning interest, and whether the application of e-portfolio assessment has positive effects on students’ English writing in junior middle schools. The platform of e-portfolio adopted in this research is Moodle, which contains various modules such as writing assistance, self-assessment, mutual assessment, online assessment and teachers’ assessment. It can provide comprehensive assessment to the writings of students.

 

During the 12-week teaching experiment, the experimenter carries out e-portfolio assessment method in the teaching of writing, while the teacher remains the traditional way of teaching writing in the control group. In the experiment process, the experimenter uses various research tools such as questionnaires, interviews, pretest and posttest to investigate the experiment subjects’ performance, and employs analytical tools of SPSS and Excel to calculate the research data so as to analyze the effectiveness of e-portfolio assessment in English writing. On the basis of the analysis of all data, the researcher draws a conclusion that the application of e-portfolio assessment enhances students’ learning interest, and it has positive effects in English writing in junior middle schools.

 

Key words: E-portfolio Assessment; English Writing; Junior Middle Schools

 

 

写作在初中英语教学中非常重要。优秀的写作教学可以帮助学生准确流畅地表达自己, 并为日后的写作应用奠定坚实的基础。在传统的写作教学中,老师评价是学生写作评价的唯一来源,学生只能根据老师的意见修改作文。随着信息技术在教学中的广泛应用,教师的教学方式更多地转向以信息技术为依托的网络教学。

 

电子档案袋评价就是一种以信息技术为基础的综合评价模式。本文的研究核心即为电子档案袋评价在初中英语写作教学中的应用的实证研究。本文为实证研究,主要研究问题为在初中英语作文教学中应用电子档案袋评价能否提高学生的学习兴趣,以及应用电子档案袋评价是否对学生的英语写作有着积极的影响。本文所采用的电子档案袋评价平台为 Moodle, 它包含写作协助,自评,互评,网评以及教师评价等模块,对学生的英语写作进行综合性评价。

 

在为期 12 周的教学实验中,在实验班进行电子档案袋评价的方法进行教学,在控制组维持传统的教学模式。在教学实验的过程中,实验者利用问卷,访谈,前测,后测研究工具对实验对象进行调查,并利用 SPSS,EXCEL 等统计工具对实验数据进行计算,对初中英语教学中的电子档案袋评价有效性进行分析。研究者在对各项数据进行分析的基础上得出结论,电子档案袋评价提高了学生对英语写作的兴趣,并对初中英语写作教学有促进作用。

 

关键词:电子档案袋评价;英语写作;初中


 
   

Chapter I Introduction

 

English writing is a basic skill for language learning. Recently, there has been a trend in English teaching to apply e-portfolio assessment in English writing. Portfolio assessment is an effective method to manage learning process and present learning results. With the development of information technology, e-portfolio assessment has drawn the attention of many educators. This chapter includes the research background, research questions, research significance and thesis framework.

 

1.1 Research Background

 

In the new curriculum reform, the goals of education assessment has transformed from discriminating and selecting students to improving teaching and promoting development of all students. The new education assessment view not only places much emphasis on the development functions of assessment, but also attaches great importance to the main role of students, which allows them to take part in the teaching assessment and arouses their learning enthusiasm. In the meantime, the assessment methods tend to be diversified and the assessment process is more dynamic than before. English curriculum standard under the new curriculum reform has specific provision that “English writing should be assessed from the comprehensive perspectives of knowledge and skills, process and methods, and emotions and values to examine the overall accomplishment of students” (Reform syllabus, 2010). Besides, the standard set concrete requirements for the assessment of English writing. However, seen from the teaching and learning practice, assessment of English writing in junior middle schools has several problems.

 

The traditional education assessment pays much attention to the selection of "high score" talents, and there are few assessment focusing on learners' practical ability. In comparison, E-portfolio as a new evaluation tool to promote the development of assessment, is to record the process of finding and solving problems and the thinking process of learners and provide a good feedback for teachers to carry out classroom teaching. What’s more important, learners themselves can get self-reflection, self-evaluation and self -promotion in the learning process so that they

 

can make progress by means of peer assessment and mutual complement.

 

1.2 Research Questions

 

According to the present situation of assessment in English writing, this paper puts forward the following three questions based on the teaching model of portfolio assessment:

 

(1)  How does the method of e-portfolio assessment affect students' writing interest?

 

(2)    How does writing teaching based on e-portfolio assessment affect students' English writing performance?

 

1.3 Research Significance

 

The application of e-portfolio in English writing in junior middle schools is of great significance, and the influencing factors are presented below.

 

First, it attaches great importance to formative assessment rather than finality assessment. English curriculum standard has made it clear that “Both the formative assessment and finality assessment are necessary, but formative assessment should be strengthened” (Reform syllabus, 2010). The teaching of English writing should not focus on the finished composition of students, which classifies students’ compositions into different ranks, but to make objective assessment on each and every link and stage in the writing process so as to change the stereotype of assessing English writing. The present assessment system places too much emphasis on finality assessment and the selection of students, but lacks assessment of the writing process, such as the assessment of the collection of composition materials, the assessment of the composition conception, and the assessment of the revision of compositions, etc. Therefore, the method of e-portfolio by means of formative assessment in English writing can be used to assess the writing process of students and to make a complete assessment of students’ English writing so as to arouse their writing enthusiasm.

 

Second, it changes the single assessment method to a multiple assessment methods. The new curriculum standard stipulated that “The new curriculum reform pays much attention to the overall and real assessment of students, and it emphasizes the combination of qualitative assessment and quantitative assessment, which can be

 

conducted in the form of checklists, portfolios, e-portfolios, classroom observation scales and so on” (Reform syllabus, 2010). At present, nearly all the teachers still adopt the method of quantitative assessment. Students who can get the score of 90 or above are a few, and most of the students are at the average or low levels. This assessment method seriously cracks down the confidence of students, which goes against the encouraging assessment of students advocated by education authorities. Besides, some teachers make use of portfolio assessment, but most of the students’ portfolios are only a gathering pool of tests and regular homework, and it lacks good organization and clear assessment standard, so it is difficult to learn more effective information of students. E-portfolio with its formative assessment can change this single assessment method into a multiple assessment methods so that teachers can get a comprehensive understanding of students.

 

Third, it can change the single assessment subjects. In the traditional English writing, teachers tend to provide assessment to students according to their experience that is perceptual and sometimes blind. The assessment content is empty, the assessment language is boring, the assessment mode is single, and even teachers will adopt different assessment standards to evaluate different students. Such assessment fails to convince students and teachers cannot provide constructive feedback to students. Students develop less interest in teachers’ comments and they lose enthusiasm in writing. E-portfolio assessment enables students to have their writings assessed in different ways, such as self-assessment, mutual assessment and teachers’ assessment so that students can get an overall and comprehensive assessment of their English writing (Reform syllabus, 2010).

 

To change the present situation of English writing assessment, the primary task is to change assessment concept, and the method of e-portfolio in assessing students’ English writing in junior middle schools is a way worth exploring.

 

1.4 Thesis Framework

 

The thesis consist of five chapters, which focuses on the empirical study on the application of e-portfolio in assessing English writing of students in a Chinese junior

middle school.

 

Chapter one is the introduction of the thesis. It includes research background, research questions, research significance and thesis framework.

 

Chapter two is about the literature view of e-portfolio and English writing. Previous researches both at home and abroad are summarized in this chapter.

 

Chapter three is about the methodology of the empirical research. It includes the hypotheses of the empirical research, the research subjects, the research methods and the research instruments. Questionnaires, pretest, posttest and interview will be used to investigate the application of e-portfolio in English writing, and the statistical tool SPSS 24.0 will be used to analyze the collected data. It also contains the research procedures, including self-assessment, mutual assessment, website assessment, teachers’ feedback and self-reflection reports. A sample lesson will be attached to illustrate the process of the application of e-portfolio in English writing.

 

Chapter four is about the research results and discussion. It includes the analysis of data collected from questionnaires, pretest papers, posttest papers and the interview.

 

Chapter five is about the conclusion of the thesis. It includes the summary of the research, the limitation of the research and suggestions for further research.

 

Chapter II Literature Review

 

This chapter is about the literature reviews of both e-portfolio assessment and second language writing from both home and abroad. On the basis of the literature review, the researcher can conclude what the previous research results can provide for the present English teaching, and find out the research gap so as to fill it.

 

2.1 Researches on E-portfolio Assessment

 

Portfolio assessment is a new teaching evaluation tool that appeared along with the western educational evaluation reform movement in the 20th century. Portfolio is a growth record bag used to describe the progress of students, display their achievements and evaluation the learning situation. Portfolio assessment has been used in all education levels, from the usual classroom teaching to large-scale testing, and from mother tongue writing to second language writing. In the middle 1990s, based on the paper-based portfolio, e-porfolio assessment appeared in writing teaching in America. The support of technology provides portfolio assessment with new life. The transformation from portfolio to e-portfolio assessment not only dedicates the change in information storage carrier, but also the obvious advantages of archiving, retrieval and sharing. The e-portfolio assessment tools include online assistance, self-assessment, peer assessment and teachers’ assessment. The way that evaluates students by e-portfolio includes the following aspects. First, e-portfolio can display all students’ performance in writing by storing, recording and sharing. Second, e-portfolio enables students to correct their own learning outcomes by providing online modifying tools. Third, e-portfolio provides learners with a writing control process, in which learners can select the best works and put them into the e-portfolio for sharing. Fourth, e-portfolio involves peer assessment, teachers’ assessment, which makes learners receive more information about their works.

 

2.1.1 Researches on E-portfolio Assessment Abroad

 

Researches on e-portfolio assessment abroad began in the 1990s. The concept of portfolio assessment was put forward to formulate a new assessment standard for

 

academic records. The intervention of information technology caused the production of e-portfolio assessment. The method of e-portfolio assessment extended to education field. About 200 research papers can be found in jstor, an American academic web. The previous research results are listed as follows.

 

Portfolio assessment is also called growth record bag assessment, files evaluation, archive assessment and so on. The first research practice of the application of portfolio assessment in education field was “Project Zero” carried out in the school of education in Harvard University. Portfolio assessment represents the idea that learning is a process and therefore, assessment of learning should also include the assessment of learning process.

 

In 1990s, education scholars of Northwest Evaluation Association in the United States gave a concrete definition to portfolio assessment. Portfolio is a purposeful collection of student works, which represent the students’ efforts, progress and achievements in one or more fields. The collection must contain the file content that students choose, the standard of content selection, the standard of judgment and the evidence of students’ self-reflection (Murphy, 1997). The definition clarified the quality, content and use of portfolio. It can be seen that portfolio assessment is a complete set of materials which represents the students’ efforts in the learning process, their personal reflections over what they have learned, and the final works of the students. Other learning materials and works in a great variety can be included in the portfolio, such as paintings, papers, audios and videos as well as comments from teachers or fellow students. Therefore, portfolio is a learning growth record, a new learning method and a new self-assessment.

 

In 1990s, portfolio assessment developed a lot, and the assessment content, scope and depth were broadened accordingly. With the rapid development of internet and multi-media technology, the traditional paper portfolio began to reveal its shortcomings in edition, revision and retrieval, etc. Educator began to consider the electric edition of portfolio, and e-portfolio emerged as the times required. As internet and multi-media technology have been widely used in the education field, the connotation and form of the traditional portfolio have changed accordingly. In 2000, a famous specialist in e-portfolio put forward a formula: Electronic portfolio = the development of multimedia + the development of portfolio (Batson, 2002). Seen from this formula, electronic portfolio is an extended form of the traditional portfolio as well as a production of the electronic edition of traditional portfolio.

 

In November 2003, the American Electronic Archives Association formulated an electronic archive white paper “E-portfolio White Paper v1.0”, which described the functions of e-portfolio as “E-portfolio has been used to organize and display learning tasks in the learning process, and it provides chances for educators, teachers, students and their parents to discuss, inquire and feedback. In the meantime, it can show the progress and achievements the students make” (Garthwait & Verrill, 2003). The white paper also mentioned that the multimedia files that can be stored in e-portfolio are texts, pictures, audios and videos and so on, and they are stored via internet devices. Therefore, it is able to overcome the shortcoming of the limited storage space of local disks, and it is easy for wide and long-term storage. The storage and share of the file content is not restrained by time and place and it has interactivity.

 

Werdmuller from California University conducted a feasibility research about e-portfolio and composed the LOP e-portfolio Report. In the report, he described e-portfolio as a highly personalized, custom-made information management system based on web (Werdmuller, 2005). It can be used to store the student works, the progress and record the learning process.

 

In 2003, the first international conference of electronic portfolio was held in France. The conference defined the electronic portfolio as “An extended record connected with online database” (Stansberry & Kymes, 2003). The database contains various materials concerning learners’ learning and personal growth, which can provide them with chances to reflect on their learning development and share knowledge with others.

 

In Britain, the project team EUDCAUSE Learning Initiative defined e-portfolio as “The collection of personalized works based on the internet, which contains works, reflections on works and feedback to works, etc. It can be used to display a variety of important skills and achievements in different fields and different times” (Butler,

2007).

 

Barrett (2006), an internationally recognized specialist in e-portfolio assessment gave a definition of e-portfolio. He pointed out that “E-portfolio adopts electronic technology to enable file bag developers to collect and organize the file bag content in various forms such as audios, videos, pictures and texts. Standardized e-portfolio utilizes online database or hyperlink to present the relations among goals, typical assignments and reflections clearly” (Barrett, 2006).

 

ERADC (E-portfolio research and development community) described e-portfolio as an information management system based on electronic media and devices (Oner and Adadan, 2011). Students set up and maintain a digital file of works to present their ability and reflect their learning situation. Because students can record and operate the work collection file, they can reflect and have their own understanding of learning so that they know their personal growth, learning and professional plans better. The pre-formulated standard, extra-curricular experience and the management of their own learning development make e-portfolio a powerful tool in evaluating learners’ learning process and results.

 

2.1.2 Researches on E-portfolio Assessment in China

 

The domestic research on portfolio assessment application in foreign language teaching is a little later than that of abroad, but it also made gratifying achievements. The author found out 482 journal articles by searching “portfolio assessment” in CNKI, and found out 249 journal articles by searching “e-portfolio assessment”. The research involves the study of basic English teaching, College English teaching, student portfolio assessment in English teaching, especially in the field of English teaching, portfolio assessment has been widely used.

 

A famous scholar Zhang Hongxia, on the basis of files for writing assessment, put forward the definition of portfolio assessment. It is a true qualitative evaluation, which makes use of multi evaluation ideas and methods for the integrated evaluation system (Zhang Hongxia, 2014). He pointed out the advantages of applying portfolio assessment in English teaching, and emphasized the importance of this assessment method in education for all-around development.

 

Professor Wang Yanping viewed e-portfolio as digital work collection, and he made a summary of the characteristics of it. By comparison between courseware and digital work collection, he pointed out the changes taking place in education ideas and teaching methods in the teaching field and he argued that “The deep development of education technology and education reform is not to make the electronic works take the place of courseware, but to make full use of various teaching resources” (Wang, 2016). She appealed that “Education department should develop information technology teaching training among all teachers and enable them to have a good command of teaching and assessment based on electronic works” (Wang, 2016).

 

Jiang Bing Sheng (2013) clarified the design concept of electronic files and emphasized it was the production of teaching activity centered on learning, and it was a representation of creative education thought in teaching activities.

 

Professor Li Jiahou claimed that “E-portfolio is based on the teaching goals and collects works and other evidence related to the students’ performance. Through reasonable analysis and explanation, it can reflect students’ advantages and shortcomings in the process of learning and development as well as their efforts and progress in the process. It is able to inspire students to gain higher achievements through their own reflections and improvements” (Li, 2012). This definition is relatively complete and it points out the direction for the reform of teaching assessment.

 

Sun Wenyun (2009) in the empirical research discusses the relationship between the form of writing portfolio and learning achievement, and the reflection and ability of self-evaluation. The research results show that writing portfolio assessment can promote the improvement of students' reflective ability and self-assessment ability.

 

Li Xinping, a professor in Jiangxi Normal University pointed out that e-portfolio is a collection in which learners use information technology to record and exhibit the learning goals, learning content, learning activities, learning results and their reflections on the learning process and learning results” (Li, 2016). This definition is in accordance with that of the scholars abroad, and Zhong strongly argued the positive effects of e-portfolio in the teaching field.

 


2.1.3 Summary of Research on E-portfolio Assessment

 

In the west, seen from the functional classification perspective, assessment can be divided into placement assessment, summative assessment and formative assessment. Placement assessment is used to test the beginning level of learners so as to conduct graded teaching, summative assessment is used to evaluate students’ competence and levels after the learning process, and formative assessment is conducted in the process of learning in order to promote the development of learners’ learning ability, and provide useful feedback for teachers and their teaching plans. E-portfolio assessment places emphasis on both the learning process and learning results, namely, it is a combination of both formative assessment and summary assessment. The application of e-portfolio will certainly break the fixed mode of assessing students by only the final examinations, instead, it will connect quantitative assessment and qualitative assessment to make a more scientific assessment of students. Besides, as a new assessment method, e-portfolio assessment pays much attention to the learning process, the authenticity of assessment, and the developing functions of assessment. In other words, e-portfolio assessment is a concrete implementation and means to realize the process assessment, authentic assessment and development assessment of students’ learning process and learning results.

 

In the early stage of the 21st century, portfolio assessment method drew the attention of Chinese scholars and researchers. The period of 2008 – 2016 was a peak time when Chinese researchers involved in the research on portfolio assessment. Even to the present day, there are still large quantities of researches on portfolio assessment. The author found out 482 journal articles by searching “portfolio assessment” in CNKI, and found out 249 journal articles by searching “e-portfolio assessment”. Among these massive journal articles, some are about the researches on portfolio assessment in US, some are about the theoretical researches on portfolio assessment, and some are about the combined researches on both e-portfolio assessment and subject teaching. Chinese basic education experts and educational technologists have made new clarification of the method of e-portfolio assessment. Chinese researchers have studied different evaluation subjects of their writing portfolio assessment process,pointing out that the students who participate in the evaluation activities are bound to attain a high level of cognitive ability and to improve the writing level. The electronic portfolio is a profound development in writing assessment system, changing the students’ learning styles and the way of thinking.

 

Based on the theories of e-portfolio from abroad, Chinese scholars and researchers have combined this e-portfolio assessment with teaching. The content of e-portfolio should include students’ works, students’ participation in learning activities, students’ learning selection, learning strategies, reflections, and so on. A good e-portfolio assessment should attain the following purposes: teachers evaluate the growth and progress of students; teachers and parents have an effective communication about the works of students; students become partners of teachers in the assessment process. The functions of e-portfolio assessment are: it promotes students’ digital expression of learning, it promotes the development of autonomous learning; it promotes the cultivation of creative thinking; it promotes students’ self-motivation and mutual motivation. The advantages of e-portfolio assessment are: it is centered on learners; it is information management; it attaches great importance to learning process; it is multi valued; it encourages reflection and motivation.

 

However, the application of e-portfolio on second language writing is still a field without much progress. Researches on the application of e-portfolio assessment in English writing are not adequate in number. An effective way to cultivate autonomous writing ability is to establish writing portfolios to evaluate the learners’ writing ability. Based on constructivism and the theory of multiple intelligences, portfolio assessment aims to collect learners’ works selectively and display their efforts, progress and achievements in one certain field. It is suggested that e-portfolio assessment is connected to class writing teaching, and it is not a simple record of learners’ writing result as it is centered on learners and encouraged learners to develop self-evaluation and self-reflection, and therefore, it reflects the process in which learners realize self-monitoring and self-development. Due to this deficiency in the application of e-portfolio assessment in English writing, this paper will make a deep research on portfolio assessment in English writing in junior middle schools.

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