Students’ perceptions of fair classroom assessment: A qualitative study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. Student, University of Tehran, Faculty of Psychology and Education, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, University of Tehran, Faculty of Psychology and Education, Tehran, Iran.

3 Associate Professor, University of Tehran, Faculty of Psychology and Education, Tehran, Iran

4 Professor, University of Tehran, Faculty of Psychology and Education, Tehran, Iran

5 Associate Professor, University of Kharazmi, Faculty of Psychology and Education , Tehran, Iran



Objective: Students 'academic achievement is a function of the quality of literacy and faculty members' assessment performance and students' perception of its feedback. Due to the lack of sufficient knowledge about students' perceived fairness of faculty members' assessment, performance and its determining role, in the present study, we tried to interpret and represent students' perceptions about the concept of fair classroom assessment.
Methods: To achieve this aim, an interpretive phenomenology study was carried out. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were used to collect data. Using purposive sampling, after conducting 29 individual interviews, one group interview and one focus group interview with students who had at least two semesters of experience in the University of Tehran, data saturation was obtained.  
Results: Students' point of view analysis was performed using the Ricoeur method in three stages: naive reading, structural analysis and comprehensive understanding. Extraction of meaning units led to the identification of 16 sub-themes in 4 main themes of "educational fairness" with the sub-themes of classroom management, teaching quality and procedural-educational fairness; "Nature of assessment" with the sub-themes of cognitive level, purpose of assessment, validity, reliability, authentic assessment, process assessment, written test and source of assessment; "Interactional fairness" with the sub-themes of unrelated factors, informational fairness and respectful behavior; And "equity" with the sub-themes of appropriate to interests and appropriate to personality traits.
Conclusion: The results showed that students' concern and perception of fairness in assessment is a combination of concepts in theories of measurement and organizational justice. Therefore, professors' awareness of these concepts and adapting these concepts to the classroom assessment process is essential to achieve a fairer classroom assessment


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