Tay Hui Yong
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- PublicationOpen AccessReframing technology for assessment and learning as a form of signature pedagogy(National Institute of Education (Singapore), 2022)For two centuries, our classrooms have looked largely the same, with students seated behind neat rows of desks listening to the teacher expounding in the front. The exception was during the school lock-downs because of the COVID-19 pandemic when our pedagogy seemed to change with students sitting in front of an electronic device. But now that the schools have reopened, we seem to have gone back again to the days of B.C (Before COVID-19).
- PublicationOpen AccessSecondary teachers’ and students’ experiences of assessment feedback
- PublicationRestrictedRole conflict among heads of department in Singapore secondary schools(1996)The Head of Department (HoD) post was instituted to achieve the twin objectives of providing instructional leadership in various subject areas and enhancing the career prospects of promising young teachers. Since the inception of the HoD post, there has been little empirical data on Singaporean HoDs' experiences and the challenges they face in fulfilling their role.
Studies conducted elsewhere suggest that HoDs face problems which arise because the role of HoD is not a single entity but a combination of a few distinct roles. Hence, they experience conflict when the expectations of these different roles are incompatible. In addition to role conflict, the multiple expected roles also cause HoDs to experience role overload and person-role conflict.
This study investigated the extent and nature of role conflict among HoDs in secondary schools and the relationship of role conflict to HoDs' perceptions of their duties. An original questionnaire was used to assess the various dimensions of role conflict among 156 English language and Mathematics HoDs in 103 secondary schools. The study also explored interrelationships among role conflict and : (a) respondents' satisfaction about their performance as HoDs ; (b) respondents' reluctance to continue in the HoD role; and (c) respondents' demographic background and school characteristics. Respondents were asked to rate a number of HoD tasks in terms of how much effort they: (a) actually spent on each task; (b) believed was expected by their principals; and (c) believed was ideal. In an open-ended question, HoDs were invited to write freely on matters pertaining to their work or the dimensions addressed in the survey.
Quantitative analyses revealed a moderate level of role conflict among HoDs. Among the three aspects of role conflict surveyed, role overload ranked highest. Contrary to reports from the studies of HoDs in other countries, there was no significant difference in the amount of role conflict experienced among HoDs classified according to demographic and organizational characteristics. This suggests that the difficulties that HoDs face may be inherent to the position and not due to background or contextual factors per se. Higher role conflict was significantly correlated to lower performance satisfaction and less willingness to continue as HoD.
In relation to specific HoD tasks, the study indicated that the HoDs' time was largely spent on middle management tasks. HoDs preferred to give higher priority to the instructional programme (IP), and they perceived that their principals also assigned a higher priority to HoDs being involved in the IP. T-tests revealed that HoDs' perceptions of the amount of effort they devoted to various tasks were: (a) significantly lower than the effort expected by their principals in most tasks; (b) significantly lower than the HoDs' ideal in Curriculum Planning and Supervision; and (c) significantly higher than the HoDs' ideal in Middle Management. HoDs also appeared to differentiate between IP and non-IP related management tasks. The comments written by the HoDs in the open-ended item underscored and illuminated the nature of role conflict experienced.
Overall, the findings suggested that the HoD's many roles require more time than the HoD has available. Based on the findings, it was recommended that the limited time that the HoD has outside of the classroom should be spent primarily on tasks that carry out the purpose for which the post was instituted; namely, providing instructional leadership.
- PublicationRestrictedPerceptions, policies and practices: AfL in the Singapore contextAssessment for learning (AfL) is of critical importance in developing innovative educational engagements and learner capacity. Impact of AfL may be exhibited in a number of ways. These include promoting learning, developing students' capacity for accurate self-assessment and facilitating adjustment of instruction for enhanced outcome achievement (Black et. al., 2004). Research demonstrating the merits of AfL has led to enthusiastic promotion and adoption of AfL-informed policies, worldwide and in Singapore. AfL significantly influences current Singapore educational policy and planning initiatives. At the primary level, a Holistic Assessment approach calling for assessment to support students' learning is being progressively introduced in all primary-school classrooms (PERI, 2009). At secondary level, considerably less empirical research has been conducted. However, the recommendations of the Assessment Review Corporate Planning Team (ARCPT) call for increasing the presence of AfL to produce balanced assessment, in which Assessment for and of Learning (AfL/AoL) function sympathetically (Leong & Tan, 2014). Additionally, AfL is being promoted at the secondary level through professional development targeted at relevant assessment practices (Leong & Tan, 2014). Adoption and practices of AfL, however may vary significantly from intentions expressed through policy and promotion. One factor is the complex dynamic that assessment change, policy, development and practice exist in (Deneen & Boud, 2014; MacDonald & Joughin, 2009). There is also significant variation in understanding what, precisely constitutes AfL (Taras, 2010). There is corresponding variation in how different stakeholders perceive AfL and how they generally conceptualize the purposes and merits of assessment (Brown, 2011; Deneen & Brown, 2011; Fulmer, 2013). These factors all exist in relationship to particular contexts. In Singapore, the context of high-stakes testing and assessment-driven meritocracy impact how people perceive, interact with and practice assessment (Tan, 2011; Tan & Deneen, forthcoming). Therefore, understanding how intentions and perceptions of AfL relate to practices requires accounting for a complex set of factors and their inter-relationships. As Singapore moves forward with AfL changes, it is imperative that research be conducted towards achieving these understandings, especially at the secondary level. The aim of the proposed study is to establish a systematic understanding of AfL in the Singapore secondary context that may inform research, policy, practice and development. This will be accomplished through meeting the following objectives: - Explain relationships among AfL policies, perceptions, practices and contexts. - Develop and validate a model that accounts for these factors and relationships. - Present analytical findings that may inform theoretical and practical understandings of AfL in the Singapore secondary and global contexts. A complementary (qualitative and quantitative) methodology will be used. Data collection will be carried out in two phases. Means of data collection will consist of large-scale survey distribution, stakeholder focus groups/interviews, and classroom observations. Factor analysis, ANOVA and MANOVA will be applied to survey data. Qualitative data will undergo inductive, iterative coding (Miles & Huberman, 1999). Initial and full results will be shared via two sharing seminars for MOE, NIE and schools. Results will be framed several ways, including: - A theoretical model of AfL in the Singapore context. - School-based case studies. - A comparative analysis of participating schools. - A policy-practice relationship analysis. Research results shall inform several specific outputs, including several tier-one journal articles, a policy recommendation document for Singapore MOE, two sharing seminars and participation in international conferences by the investigatory team.
- PublicationOpen AccessAssessments for learning in inclusive classroomsThis study builds upon recent research into Assessment for Learning (AfL) practices in Singapore secondary schools (Brown, Deneen, Fulmer, Leong, Tan, & Tay, 2017 April). It aims to extend our understanding of certain AfL competencies highlighted in the latter study in a more specific context of an inclusive classroom, particularly mainstream school classes with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The incidence of ASD in Singapore is one in 150 children, higher than World Health Organisation's global figure of one in 160 (Ng, 2017). Students with ASD have the cognitive abilities to benefit from the national curriculum, but face challenges in social communication and socialising. They find it difficult to read the intentions of others or see the bigger picture because they tend to use their superior detail-focused cognitive style (Engeland & Buitelaar, 2008; Happe & Frith, 2006). It is challenging for them to benefit from the classroom dialogue in which teachers ask questions to elicit evidence of learning as well as give feedback to advance the students' understanding. However, there is currently no study to help us understand the phenomenon in Singapore schools. To help bridge this gap, this exploratory qualitative study seeks to understand, in the context of an inclusive classroom, a) How would effective questioning and teacher feedback look like, separately and when used together? b) What do ASD children consider to be effective questioning techniques and teacher feedback? Participants will include 6 teachers from schools (both primary and secondary) trained in special needs (TSN) will be observed during a lesson in a class which has ASD student. Both the teacher and the student will be interviewed separately after the lesson. The findings of this study will extend our current understanding of AfL in the context of inclusive education where every child is valued and enabled to learn (UNESCO, 2005).
- PublicationRestrictedThe use of self-regulated learning in authentic assessments(2011)The purpose of the present thesis was to examine the relationship between selfregulated learning (SRL) and authentic assessments using a mixed method design, with sequentially quantitative and qualitative phases, to answer the research questions : 1) Was there a difference in students’ use of SRL in a conventional paper-and-pen task and an authentic assessment task? 2) What specific differences were there in the different phases of SRL (Forethought, Performance and Self- reflection)? 3) How was SRL facilitated or hindered by real life setting, school setting, student control (with respect to choice of material) and the student’s ability to self-assess? To cross-validate the findings, the study was replicated two years later with another group of participants at the same site.
Quantitative data on SRL was gathered using a self-report questionnaire I had designed based on Zimmerman’s (2002) cyclical Forethought, Performance and Self-reflection SRL model. Participants, comprising 405 secondary four students in the first study and 300 in the second, were assigned two Language Arts tasks that tapped on the same cognitive skills, except that one was a paper-and-pen task while the other was an authentic assessment task. Comparisons of the SRL scores between the two tasks, using paired sample t-tests, showed a small statistically significant difference in favour of the authentic assessment task in the form of the letter to the Forum in the first study and none in the second. Further analysis at the subscale and phase level added a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between the two phenomena.
These inferences were supported by interview data from 19 participants: 6 from the first study and 13 from the second. Their comments corroborated the literature review that real life setting, student control and ability to self-assess facilitated students’ SRL. Furthermore, the study provided a clearer picture of how these factors are linked.
This study contributes to a better understanding of two well-known phenomena: self-regulated learning and authentic assessment, and more importantly, on the relation between the two. With findings that reframe our view of both self-regulated learning and assessments, this study proposes that authentic assessments should be designed with two critical factors: choice which offers opportunities for connection to learner’s life beyond school, and timely feedback.
- PublicationOpen AccessPerceptions, policies and practices: Assessment for learning in the Singapore context.
- PublicationOpen AccessEffective questioning and feedback for learners with autism in an inclusive classroomThere is limited research regarding how Assessment for Learning (AfL) can support mainstream classrooms that have students with special needs. In current literature, it is assumed that AfL functions in similar ways across different contexts. Studies on how AfL practices can accommodate mainstream and special educational students in the same classroom are very limited. The present study sets out to investigate AfL practices in the context of mainstream classes that include high-functioning students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), focusing specifically on questioning techniques and teacher feedback. Though these strategies are associated with positive learning outcomes, learners with ASD may face difficulty in engaging in such questioning and feedback dialogue because of various challenges (e.g., atypical attentional networks). This qualitative instrumental case study involved observing six mainstream teachers from five schools during lessons and separately interviewing the teachers and the students with ASD. The study found that these teachers used approaches that focused on three considerations: addressing the cognitive needs of students (e.g. precise and direct questions); their socio-emotional needs (e.g. affirmative feedback); and supporting structures (e.g. visual cues). The study expands our current limited understanding of AfL in inclusive classrooms and highlights the implications for classroom practice.
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- PublicationOpen AccessStudents' engagement across a typology of teacher feedback practices(2022)
;Lam, KarenThe provision of feedback is widely practised as part of formative assessment. However, studies that examine the impact of feedback are usually from the teachers’ perspective, focusing on why and how they provide feedback. Fewer studies examine feedback from the students’ perspective, especially in the way they experience, make sense of and take up their teachers’ feedback. This paper provides empirical evidence of student engagement with different patterns of teacher feedback in their written essays. Data were gathered from 45 students (from 5 different schools) through group interviews and analysis of student artefacts from three rounds of writing tasks. The findings on affective, behavioural and cognitive engagement surfaced the conditions that will contribute to students’ will and skill to act on their teachers’ feedback. The implications on both teacher and student assessment literacy are discussed. The discussion will provide professional development providers and policy makers with new perspectives of and approaches to strengthening formative assessment practices in ways that are more cognizant of students’ experience of feedback. Scopus© Citations 6 92 39WOS© Citations 4
- PublicationMetadata onlySupporting self-directed learning and self-assessment using TeacherGAIA, a generative AI chatbot application: Learning approaches and prompt engineeringSelf-directed learning and self-assessment require student responsibility over learning needs, goals, processes, and outcomes. However, this student-led learning can be challenging to achieve in a classroom limited by a one-to-many teacher-led instruction. We, thus, have designed and prototyped a generative artificial intelligence chatbot application (GAIA), named TeacherGAIA, that can be used to asynchronously support students in their self-directed learning and self-assessment outside the classroom. We first identified diverse constructivist learning approaches that align with, and promote, student-led learning. These included knowledge construction, inquiry-based learning, self-assessment, and peer teaching. The in-context learning abilities of large language model (LLM) from OpenAI were then leveraged via prompt engineering to steer interactions supporting these different learning approaches. These interactions contrasted with ChatGPT, OpenAI’s chatbot which by default engaged in the traditional transmissionist mode of learning reminiscent of teacher-led instruction. Preliminary design, prompt engineering and prototyping suggested fidelity to the learning approaches, cognitive guidance, and social-emotional support, all of which were implemented in a generative AI manner without pre-specified rules or “hard-coding”. Other affordances of TeacherGAIA are discussed and future development outlined. We anticipate TeacherGAIA to be a useful application for teachers in facilitating self-directed learning and self-assessment among K-12 students.
Scopus© Citations 1 26