This study draws upon the perspectives of sport and recreation undergraduate students in New Zealand who were involved in the design of their own assessments, and discusses the implication of the teaching and learning environment on this process. In a previous study, student criticism had emerged of current teaching strategies and assessment methods at their institution. The purpose of this current study was to directly address some of these concerns and for lecturers and students to work collaboratively to develop a more learner-centred teaching and learning environment. Students from a second-year sociology of sport paper were invited to design their own exam. A session was facilitated where learning outcomes and exam strategies were addressed. Students were then given the opportunity to create their own exam questions in a student-led classroom environment. Concurrently, students from a third-year sports coaching paper were invited to fully design their own assessments. Student experience was captured through focus group interviews. Self-determination theory (SDT) provided the theoretical lens used to examine the data, with a specific focus on how the basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) of participants were either supported or thwarted. The findings suggest that the second-year students struggled with a perceived lack of teaching direction throughout the process. However, third-year students were extremely positive about the opportunity to have ownership of their learning experience, and analysis revealed an increase in intrinsic motivation to learn. This study highlights the importance of student voice, and encourages a process that allows students to contribute meaningfully toward the design and delivery of their own programmes of study. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for a co-leadership model of students’ learning experience to emerge. Furthermore, it allows for reflection from both staff and students regarding the impact of the learning environment on student motivation to learn.
Self-Determination Theory, SDT, Case Study, Assessment, Education, Learning, Teaching, Student-Centred Learning
The authors wish to acknowledge the Learning, Teaching and Development Fund for the grant that supported this project. The funders had no control over the design and implementation of this study, or of the study's findings. The authors would also like to acknowledge the time given by the students who participated in this study.
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Recommended APA Citation
Walters, S. R., Silva, P., & Nikolai, J. (2017). Teaching, Learning, and Assessment: Insights into Students’ Motivation to Learn. The Qualitative Report, 22(4), 1151-1168. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol22/iss4/13