Assessment: attitudes, practices and needs

Sheehan, S. (Participant), Munro, S. (Participant)

Activity: Other activity typesOther

Description

This project investigated language assessment literacy practices in the classroom. We sought to bring teachers more directly into the assessment literacy debate and provide them with training materials which meet their stated needs. Teachers’ attitudes and beliefs are frequently cited as exerting a powerful role in shaping their decisions, judgements and behaviour (see, for example, Borg, 2006; Kagan, 1992). Therefore, exploring teachers’ current levels of assessment literacy may help teacher educators to better understand the factors
which promote or prevent effective assessment, and thus contribute to more targeted teacher education. However, an investigation into what is happening in
classes may be of little value without exploring why it is happening.
A qualitative approach was adopted and methods used included interviews, observations and focus group discussions. The interviews drew on Davies’ (2008) components of assessment literacy which he defined as Skills, Knowledge and Principles. Observations were conducted which focused on teacher assessment practices. Post-observation interviews were conducted with the teachers. The observations and interviews were conducted at the international study centre of a British university. Focus group discussions were held at
teaching centres attached to a major international organisation overseas. A workshop was held at an international teacher conference to pilot the online
training materials.
The training materials cover five topics:
■ CEFR and levelness
■ assessing young learners
■ assessment for learning
■ language assessment for teachers
■ assessment resources.
The emphasis in the materials is on practical
approaches, but in line with our participants’ stated
needs it includes a basic introduction to theoretical
perspectives.
Period17 Jun 2017
Held atBritish Council, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational