The impact of formative assessment on self-regulating learning in university classrooms

  • Fisseha Mikre Weldmeskel Jimma University, Ethiopia
  • Dreyer Johann Michael University of South Africa (UNISA), South Africa
Keywords: self-regulated learning, quality formative assessment, feedback, self-assessment, peer assessment, constructivist learning


This study describes the extent of which the use of quality formative assessment on lessons of a course involves the students as self-regulated learners. There is an increased interest among educational researchers to observe improvement of student self-regulation on learning. The predominant use of summative assessment remains a challenge to helping students develop self-regulation skills in learning and assessment. Quality formative assessment includes formative feedback, self-assessment and peer assessment. The study followed a partially mixed sequential research design and applied a quasi-experimental intervention that lasted for six weeks where six educators applied quality formative assessment on lessons of a general psychology course for intervention group students (N=191). The quantitative data were collected by self-regulated learning questionnaire before and after the use of quality formative assessment on lessons. The qualitative data were collected by focus group discussions with the students. The students’ perceptions on self-regulating learning were compared between the intervention (N=191) and the comparison (N=187) group of students. The quantitative analysis used t-test and biserial correlation and proved the presence of statistically significant difference between the two groups in perceiving the self-regulation of learning. Moreover, effect size estimate (Cohen’s d) was used to provide a strong validation on the variation between the two groups for the measure of self-regulating learning. Recommendations were made to promote the use of quality formative assessment aiming at the improvement of student self-regulation on learning and assessment in university classes.

Published online: 30 November 2016


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Author Biographies

Fisseha Mikre Weldmeskel, Jimma University, Ethiopia

Associate professor of educational psychology at Jimma University (Ethiopia). His fields of specialization are curriculum & instruction design, educational psychology, assessment and didactics. He has research interests in the areas of quality education, instruction design and assessment. Mail:

Dreyer Johann Michael, University of South Africa (UNISA), South Africa

Professor of education at the University of South Africa (UNISA). His fields of specialization are didactics, practical teaching and assessment. He has research interests in the areas of practical teaching, environmental education and mentoring. Mail:


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How to Cite
Weldmeskel, Fisseha Mikre, and Dreyer Johann Michael. 2016. “The Impact of Formative Assessment on Self-Regulating Learning in University Classrooms”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 4 (1), 99-118.