Assessment has an important role in affecting students’ learning, but qualitative studies regarding this relationship are rather scarce. In addition, course grades do not necessarily reflect the quality of learning outcomes. The aim is to qualitatively examine why high and low achieving students in the same course study differently according to the assessment method and how they explain their behaviour. Altogether 24 students were interviewed in this study. Analyses were conducted with inductive content analysis. The results indicate that course grades do not necessarily reflect qualitative learning outcomes due to the nature of the assessment. In addition, the present study suggests that self-regulation and motivation are important factors in studying and might prevent the negative effect of inappropriate assessment.
University of Helsinki
Studies of achievement