The effects of reflection and revision cycles on student engagment in high school life sciences courses

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Montana State University - Bozeman, Graduate School


This study aimed to measure changes over time in student engagement and student perceptions of course assessment when high school life sciences students were allowed to use "Reflection and Revision Cycles" to reflect on what they were doing well, what they could improve upon, and what their plans were for improvement. Sixty-four students of various ages and in various courses from ninth- to twelfth-grade took part in the Reflection and Revision Cycle exercises throughout the winter term. Data was collected via series of surveys, interviews, focus groups, and anonymous questionnaires during the intervention/treatment period that all asked students to think about their own engagement in the course, and how they perceived the assessment structure of the course. The collected data failed to directly support the idea that student engagement and positive perceptions of course assessment would both increase over the course of the treatment. However, the more open-ended data instruments such as interviews and focus groups provided much evidence that the inclusion of Reflection and Revision Cycles specifically, and self-assessment and alternative assessment practices in general, can be important drivers of student engagement and perceptions, and that they will be important additions to my classes going forward.




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