Performance, Preference, and Perception in Experiential Learning Assessment
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AbstractA pilot study was conducted to explore student preferences, performance, and perceptions of experiential learning assessment following experiential learning instruction. A learning experience, using semi-directed instruction and experiential learning methods, was given to 13 student volunteers who were then assessed using a case study, presentation, journal, and essay, representing both group and individual assessment. Student performance in terms of their understanding and their engagement was compared to student perceptions and preferences. Student performance indicated that although the journal (individual assessment) appeared to be the best venue for students to express their understanding, they were the least engaged in it. The case study and the presentation (group assessments) were most preferred overall and students also perceived these to be the best forms of assessment in a number of aspects (helpful, beneficial, engaging, challenging, etc.). It is possible that the collaborative nature of the group assessments matched the teaching style suggesting that the mode of assessment should follow a similar format to the learning experience in courses that use experiential learning methods. The essay, as a traditional form of assessment, was valued for its structure, possibly reflecting student familiarity with that type of assessment, but less so overall because it was also an individual exercise. Each assessment method used in the pilot demonstrated value, albeit in different forms and this finding speaks to assessing both authentically and using a mixture of methods.