Students’ perceptions on new modes of assessment and their influence on student learning: the portfolio case.

Katrien Struyven, Sarah Gielen, Filip Dochy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent times the assessment culture has been displacing the test culture, along with the concept of the 'tabula rasa'- learner. New assessment formats, identified by unique characteristics, have been developed and implemented with the purpose of producing active, constructive and skilled learners. These learners select, perceive, interpret and integrate new information to form a coherent and meaningful whole, together with their prior knowledge and former experiences. In this line of thought, reality per se is not sufficient to fully understand student learning. 'Reality as experienced by the student' and, as a consequence, students' experiences and perceptions about assessment, have an important additional value in understanding student learning. The present investigation aims to measure the effects of portfolios (fully equipped with the unique characteristics of new assessment modes), in comparison to a traditional written examination, on students' perceptions and on student learning. The results reveal that students adopt deep learning strategies when working on their portfolios and think of portfolios as a measurement of the mastery of their learning. Furthermore, this perception appears to mediate the effects of the assessment characteristics on student learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-226
Number of pages28
JournalEuropean Journal of School Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • assessment
  • portfolio
  • student perceptions


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