The third and the last module of Testing, Evaluation and Assessment Training, ‘Capacity Building for the Next Generation’, was held in Acıbadem University between 15th March and 17th March 2018. Facilitated by Zeynep Ürkün, Merve Karabulut and İdil Güneş Ertugan from Sabancı University, the three-day event hosted representatives of assessment teams from different universities around İstanbul and İzmir for the third time.

Day 1: “Assessing the productive skills: the “best” way of doing it!”
The focus of this module was assessing productive skills. The first day started with re-cap from module two and continued with a discussion on the “best” way of testing writing and speaking. Several holistic and analytic criteria were analyzed and practical suggestions for assessing writing were shared. The day ended with a reflective discussion during which instructors from different institutions shared their views on their own tests.

Day 2: “Is the essay format dead? If so, should we attend the funeral?”
Course facilitators shared the results of a need analysis that they conducted in Sabancı University on day two. They explained the rationale behind using short-answer responses rather than essay format, which generated a meaningful discussion among instructors. Then, we worked in groups to develop writing questions using multi-prompt approaches and different rhetorical structures.

Day 3: “Hands-on: Analyzing sample speaking tasks”
Day three started with the analysis of current speaking criteria that instructors have been using in their own institutions. There was a genuine discussion on what really works and what doesn’t. After that, Zeynep Ürkün shared her experience of using CEFR descriptors to revise their speaking criteria. Sample academic speaking tasks, such as CAEL (Canadian Academic EL Assessment), were analyzed in terms of their effectiveness and practicality.

The third module was particularly effective as we had the opportunity to compare and work on different criteria. Since enough time was provided for reflection and sharing ideas in each module, we, as participants, were able to come back with really practical and applicable ideas. Over all, Testing, Evaluation and Assessment Training has been a very valuable experience for everybody who took part in it.