Bagley, S.S. (2008). High school students' perceptions of narrative evaluations as summative assessment. American Secondary Education, 36(3), 15-32.
This study examines students' and teachers' ideas and perceptions of narrative evaluations compared to summative assessments. Data were collected at a high school in Southern California that exclusively relies on narrative evaluations (i.e., detailed written feedback on assignments) rather than letter grades or marks. The researcher collected survey data from 9th-12th grade students (N = 115), and conducted individual interviews with a subset of students and teachers to determine what they liked most and least about narrative evaluations. Results indicated that narrative evaluations were more stressful to students because of the intensity of detail provided, teacher subjectivity, and the daunting task of future revision after receiving such detailed feedback. Students, however, also reported that narrative evaluations were more useful than letter grades because they provided clear guidelines for improving their work. Teachers expressed that while providing narrative feedback was very time-consuming, it also gave them an opportunity to provide personalized feedback to students. Bagley concludes that there are pros and cons to using narrative evaluations as summative assessments in high schools, yet these detailed evaluations ultimately become an important source of information to help students improve performance in school.
Balanced Assessment System, Reciprocal Feedback