This course examines fundamental concepts in the field of language assessment, testing, and evaluation. Constructs such as principles, functions, forms, instruments, and purposes of assessment will be revisited in order for graduate students to develop practical working knowledge to use in their teaching practice. Some dichotomic approaches to evaluation such as traditional versus alternative, formative versus summative, formal versus informal, and the like, will also be studied. As reflective and informed developers and judges of language evaluations, graduate students (current teachers) will be prepared to improve language evaluation at their workplaces by applying the knowledge gained so that evaluation practices will indeed reveal congruence among national requirements, institutional purposes, program and course goals, teaching strategies, and student abilities. Major emphasis will be given to identifying the main qualities of effective assessment, whether formative or summative, whether classroom-based or large-scale, whether informal or formal testing. Thus, the theoretical foundation along with the practical exercises implemented in class will undoubtedly make participants more competent in the development and use of language assessments; in other words, this course will enhance their assessment literacy.
At the end of this course, participants will be able to:
- Comprehend the meanings and implications of various assessment-related constructs to use in their teaching discourse and practicum.
- Identify and examine the qualities (reliability, validity, authenticity, interactiveness, practicality, impact, washback, fairness, and democracy) of assessment instruments and procedures.
- Identify different approaches to assessment (of/for/as learning; formative; alternative; computer-based; etc.) as possible implementations in the classroom.
- Design or improve assessment instruments in order to align them with institutional and curricular qualities and principles.
- Determine the significance of evaluation procedures such as self-assessment and peer assessment in order to implement them in their teaching practices.
- Produce more valid, reliable, practical, and authentic language assessments.
- Implement more democratic and fair language assessment procedures.
- Better integrate language assessment and language teaching.