Assessment and emotion in higher education: the allure of blogging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper explores the emotional responses that assessment can provoke in undergraduate students. The literature on the link between emotions and learning is well established, with an emphasis on confidence and anxiety, but there is surprisingly little research on the relationship between emotions and innovative assessment practices. This article aims to make a contribution to these debates by looking at courses where students were assessed through blogging, an assessment strategy that was new and unfamiliar to all of them. Focus groups were undertaken with students on four courses at the University of Edinburgh. The data from the focus groups identified positive emotional responses to blogging with students outlining how it was a way to enhance engagement because of the enjoyment it brought them. Blogging also evoked negative emotions, with respondents detailing how a new assessment method initially engendered feelings of unease and anxiety. Our analysis indicates that it is important to pay attention to the wider emotional landscape of assessment strategies. Students compared the allure and appeal of blogging, despite its unknowns and uncertainties, with the often negative feelings they had about being assessed using more conventional means such as essays and examinations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-163
JournalResearch in Post-Compulsory Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • assessment
  • blogging
  • emotion
  • undergraduate
  • higher education


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