Perceptual (mis)matches between learners’ and teachers’ rating criteria in the Iranian EFL writing self-assessment context

Document Type : Original Research Article


Department of English language and literature, Faculty of Humanities, Persian Gulf University, Bushehr 75169, Iran


As a formative assessment procedure, self-assessment aims to converge learners’ and teachers’ views in assessment. Hence, reducing the perceptual mismatches between the learners’ and the teachers’ assessment would positively affect the learning process. For this aim, the present study investigated to what extent the learners’ assessment of their writing before and after being provided with a list of rating criteria, agrees that of their teachers. Therefore, a body of 6 EFL writing teachers and 27 EFL learners participated in this study. The learners were asked to rate their writing before and after being provided with rating criteria developed by the researchers. The teachers also rated the students’ writings following the same criteria. The obtained results showed a significant difference between the students' scores on the first and second assessment occasions. The teachers’ and the students’ assessment on the second time also were found to significantly correlate. Moreover, the analysis of the students’ comments showed that while they rated their writing on some limited aspects of writing in the first rating occasion, they assessed their essays using more components in the second assessment phase. Overall, the findings revealed that providing the learners with rating criteria would not only reduce the perceptual mistaches between the students’ and the teachers’ assessment but through involving the students’ voices in their assessment would promote democratic classroom assessment. Pedagogical implications of the study are discussed.