The assessment experiences of four Taiwanese students in an American graduate business school

Shao-Tsang Chiang, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to identify and describe the assessment experiences of 4 Taiwanese international students in an American graduate business school. The study identified participants': (a) demographic and academic background, (b) perceptions of the United States learning environment, (c) learning strategies, (d) assessment experiences, and (e) levels of satisfaction with the graduate Business Management program. Drawing from sociocultural theories, this study was based on the notion that the effect of the learning context influences how the learners perceive its demands and expectations, thus impacting their values, feelings, and strategies as novice members in new learning communities. This sociocultural theoretical framework helps the researcher to understand international students' process of adapting to the new learning context in the United States. The participants of the study were 4 Taiwanese international students enrolled in a graduate school of business administration in a university in New York City. Data was gathered through 3 interviews, three questionnaires, and 1 reflective essay. These sources provided information on participants' academic background, learning strategies, social interactions during their study in the United States, and assessment practices during the program. All 4 participants perceived that the United States learning context emphasized oral competence and deep-learning approaches. The findings of the study show that the participants were more likely to utilize surface-learning strategies when they perceived the assignment to be overwhelming, and they were more likely to employ deep-learning strategies when involved in writing tasks. All 4 participants reported both positive and negative perceptions of assessment practices. In the areas of awareness of the assessment criteria and assessment outcomes, the participants' responses were more positive than negative. When it came to motivation/affective factors and professors' feedback, their reactions were mainly negative. All 4 participants reported mixed experiences as international students in the United States graduate business program. Positive experiences were related to course learning and social activities. Negative experiences were found in the areas of program services and academic relationships with teaching staff. The findings of this study suggest that students' perceptions and experiences of teaching and assessment influence their approaches to learning.

Subject Area

Bilingual education|Educational tests & measurements|Business education|Curriculum development

Recommended Citation

Chiang, Shao-Tsang, "The assessment experiences of four Taiwanese students in an American graduate business school" (2008). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3333019.