Testing, Evaluation and Assessment Training, Module 2 by Emine Merdin and Nagihan Aydın
Two of our assesment specialists, Nagihan and Emine, attended Testing, Evaluation and Assessment Training 2 which was held in Kadir Has University between October 19th and 21th.
Below, please find their reflections:
Testing, Evaluation & Assessment Module 2 was organized by Gordion Akademi and Dünya Education and hosted by Kadir Has University. The 3-day event involved three cherished speakers from Sabancı University all of whom shared their valuable experiences in the testing field.
This event’s sessions started with a short revision of basic testing terms and continued with testing reading and listening skills. A sufficient amount of time was spared for the hands-on practice on writing good quality questions on well-chosen texts to properly test students’ reading and listening comprehension. To do this, we worked in groups, where we shared ideas and wrote questions. Following each group work, we had the chance to share our ideas and questions with the whole group. As they did in the previous module, some quality time was allocated for the questions from the audience. This allowed me and everyone else to once again ask follow-up questions. Compared to the first module of the event, the hands-on test writing time was very well-directed and resulted in some very intriguing discussion within the group I worked with and helped me to gauge what other universities’ practices were regarding the specific item writing matters and how assessment components were organized depending on level, genre and test specifications.
On the whole, I believe this was another fruitful course which gave me the opportunity to discuss issues regarding text selection and item creation and learn different practices at other universities as well as reflecting on our practices at ScOLa. I’m looking forward to the last module whose main focus will be on testing speaking and writing skills.
The second module of Testing, Evaluation and Assessment Training, ‘Capacity Building for the Next Generation’, was held in Kadir Has University between 19th and 21st October, 2017. In this 3-day event, organized by Gordion Akademi, we had the chance to meet colleagues from different universities around İstanbul again.
The core themes of this module was assessing receptive skills. Determining the ideal reading assessment and text difficulty for reading texts was the main discussion of the first day. Practical issues such as backwash, grading, exam security, exam shelf-life, exam recycling, finding suitable content or sources, item analysis and interpreting the results were discussed in a detailed way. In the hands on part, instructors from different institutions teamed up and worked together to produce items for a reading test.
The focus of the next two days was assessing listening and the CEFR. Course facilitators shared their ideas on how to use CEFR to create rubrics and test specifications. After that, we had another reflective discussion on reliability and practicality of various listening exams. At the end, different groups came together to produce items for a listening test.
Throughout the training, Zeynep Ürkün, the course facilitator from Sabancı University, reminded that finding out the ideal way of assessing reading and listening depends mainly on institutions’ own contexts. There are many variables to think about while determining the ideal and the most feasible way of assessment. For this very reason, the reflections of instructors coming from different contexts were enlightening and provided me with invaluable experience.