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Title: Assessment Change in Omani Post-Basic (16- 18) Biology Education: evaluating the journey from policy as written, to policy as enacted and policy as experienced.
Authors: Al Hadhrami, Mohammed Ali Abdullah
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This study explored the phenomenon of changes to Biology assessment in Omani secondary education with a focus on formative assessment (FA). The recent changes in curricula, following the implementation of the new post-basic education system in Oman (for students aged 16- 18 years old) in the academic year 2007/ 2008 required new assessment practices. This research study investigates how the Biology assessment was written by assessment policy makers, how it was enacted by Biology teachers and how it was experienced by Biology students using a qualitative dominant case study approach. Data was collected via two semi-structured interviews with assessment policy makers, four with Biology teachers and six focus groups with students; a 30-item questionnaire to 96 students; 11 non-participant lesson observations and assessment document analysis. The research explored both the benefits and challenges of implementing assessment change in the Biology classroom. This study provides an insight into the understandings of the assessment practices of four Biology teachers. The impact of a top-down policy approach on teachers’ perceptions and the enactment of both formative and summative assessment is explored. The findings revealed the importance of dialogue with Biology teachers during the planning or design phase of changes to assessment policy for its implementation to succeed. The teachers had not experienced any support or further training in assessment practices. The study also valued the voices of students regarding assessment, which considerably affected their approaches to study. The findings suggest that participating students could see the benefits of talking with their peers to understand some topics related to Biology problems. It is recommended that the Ministry of Education and local educational authority should support Biology teachers in their assessment practices through dialogue and professional development activities to ensure the successful implementation of the assessment system. Keywords: FA, SA, Post-basic education, Assessment policy.
Description: Ph. D. Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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