Reflections on Testing, Evaluation and Assessment Training by Nagihan Aydın and Emine Merdin
Two of our assesment specialists, Nagihan and Emine, attended Testing, Evaluation and Assessment Training which was held in Beykoz University between May 25th and 27th.
Below, please find their reflections:
As an Assessment Specialist, I attended Testing, Evaluation and Assessment Training which was held in Beykoz University between May 25th and 27th.
The aim of this three-module training is to provide its participants with a broad overview of the major principles involved in foreign language testing and assessment. In the first module, representatives of testing units from a range of universities came together and discussed assessment related issues and experiences. The programme was facilitated by Zeynep Ürkün, İdil Güneş Ertugan and Merve Karabulut from Sabancı University, School of Languages.
Module one core themes were on theoretical and practical issues in testing and assessment. Day one started with history of language testing and continued with key issues in assessment, which were validity, reliability and practicality. As representatives of our institutions, we all reflected on the reliability and practicality of our own tests; shared contexts and experiences with one another in small groups. In the next two days, there were some hands on activities about writing general test specifications, developing classroom tests and testing use of English. Test samples; advantages and disadvantages of each sample considering given contexts were discussed. At the end of each day, we had Q&A sessions with the course facilitators and were given time to consider how to adapt ideas from the course to classrooms in our own professional contexts.
One major idea that was emphasized throughout the training was the “integrated learning system”. In this system, curriculum, delivery and assessment go hand in hand and they are inseparable. Therefore, one recommendation for preparatory programmes was to ensure that their syllabi, classroom materials and exams are in tune with one another. Another key point during the discussions was to define the “minimally competent person”. To be able to define it accurately, it was suggested that enough importance should be given to standardization sessions and the way these sessions are held.
This three-day training gave me the opportunity of meeting and exchanging ideas with other professionals in the field of testing and assessment. It was interesting to learn what other institutions are implementing and experiencing. Over all, I was really glad to see that we had already taken a lot of action to organize the way we administer, become standardized and do the marking of our exams.
Testing, Evaluation & Assessment Module 1 was organized by Gordion Akademi and hosted by Beykoz University. The 3-day event involved cherished speakers from Sabancı University such as Zeynep Ürkün who shared her valuable experiences in the testing field.
The attendees were mostly from universities around Istanbul, and this gave me a chance to compare our practice at ScOLa to other places and was happy to see that, in terms of testing and general practice, we are a school that is presented and considered as a high quality school.
The event’s sessions ranged from the history of testing to validity and reliability in testing. The final day was focused on testing specific skills and a vast amount of time was spared for the questions from the audience. This allowed me and everyone to take note of various practices at different institutions.
On the whole, I believe this was a fruitful beginning to a three-module testing course. I’m certainly looking forward to joining the following two modules.