Evaluating Learning Gain in a Self-Access Centre

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Previous research suggests that the issue of learning gain is crucial to any discussion of Self-Access Centre (SAC) evaluation. However, Morrison (2005b) points out that there is no research-based framework specifically developed for evaluating the effectiveness of SAC. He suggests looking to the learners to identify evidence of learning gain. This study adopts a learner-centred approach to evaluating the learning gain in a SAC. Quantitative data were collected from pre- and post-questionnaires while qualitative data were collected from learner portfolios, learners’ written reflections, two individual collaborative evaluation meetings and the language advisor’s evaluation. All participants perceived themselves as having learning gains which include metacognitive knowledge and strategies, language gain and socio-affective gain. This study discovered some factors which are conducive to evaluating learning gain in a SAC: learners must be given the central role in the evaluation process; support and guidance must be provided for learners; and different learner centred evaluation tools can be used. It is clear that evidence of learning gain in a SAC cannot be sought by traditional types of language assessments. A better alternative is learners’ self-assessments based upon perceptual rather than objective data.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFostering Autonomy in Language Learning
EditorsDavid Gardner
PublisherZirve University
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9786054389056
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

User-Defined Keywords

  • evaluation
  • self-access language learning
  • self-access centre
  • learning gain
  • learner-centred
  • metacognitive knowledge
  • metacognitive strategies
  • Hong Kong
  • tertiary students


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