Reflective assessment in knowledge building by students with low academic achievement

Yuqin Yang*, Jan van Aalst, Carol K.K. Chan, Wen Tian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


This study investigated whether and how students with low prior achievement can carry out and benefit from reflective assessment supported by the Knowledge Connections Analyzer (KCA) to collaboratively improve their knowledge-building discourse. Participants were a class of 20 Grade 11 students with low achievement taking visual art from an experienced teacher. We used multiple methods to analyze the students’ online discourse at several levels of granularity. Results indicated that students with low achievement were able to take responsibility for advancing collective knowledge, as they generated theories and questions, built on each others’ ideas, and synthesized and rose above their community’s ideas. Analysis of qualitative data such as the KCA prompt sheets, student interviews and classroom observations indicated that students were capable of carrying out reflective assessment using the KCA in a knowledge building environment, and that the use of reflective assessment may have helped students to focus on goals of knowledge building. Implications for how students with low achievement collaboratively improve their knowledge-building discourse facilitated by reflective assessment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-311
Number of pages31
JournalInternational journal of computer-supported collaborative learning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Knowledge building
  • Metacognition
  • Reflective assessment
  • Students with low achievement


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