EFFECTIVE TESTING: AN ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT FOR ENGLISH PROGRAMMES

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Presentation by Eric Ntam at the ELT conference in Sudan/ University of Khartoum and British Council/ …

Presentation by Eric Ntam at the ELT conference in Sudan/ University of Khartoum and British Council/
1-3 March 2010

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  • 1. EFFECTIVE TESTING: AN ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT FOR ENGLISH PROGRAMMES By
    • Eric Ntam
    • University of Yaounde I, Cameroon
  • 2. How can we better obtain educational objectives?
    • Educational objectives are better obtained through testing. A good testing system does not only indicate learners’ progress and the out put of a school but enhances political stability as well.
  • 3. … to develop national tests of student achievement in reading and in math….Every state should adopt high national standards … every state should test every fourth grader in reading and every eighth grader in math to make sure these standards are met. William Jefferson Clinton (February 4, 1997 )
  • 4.
    • Good tests will
    • show us who needs help,
    • what changes in teaching to make
    • which schools need to improve
    • help us to end social promotion, for no child should move from one grade school to junior high or junior high to high school until he or she is ready.
  • 5. “ Standards and Tests: B ” at the top of Mr. Clinton’s list, was his boldest idea … a long-overdue step toward true accountability. Republicans to applaud it.” Chester E. Finn, Jr(February, 1997)
  • 6. Tests and characteristics
    • A test is ‘a collection of tasks (items or questions) assumed to be a representative sample of the behaviours that the tester wishes to assess’
    • Guy R. Lefrancois (1988)
  • 7. A good test is characterised by:
    • Validity: results measure some aspect of learning consistently over time.
    • Reliability: test results can be depended on to decide the student’s ability and/or vocational orientation.
    • Test bias: partiality or subjectivity in the results. (prevent objective/judgment, little school accountability)
  • 8. How can test validity, reliability, and objectivity be obtained?
    • To obtain validity, reliability, non-biased tests,
    • standardisation of testing is necessary.
  • 9. What are standardised tests?
    • “ Standardised tests are tests which provide standards or norms by which an individual learner’s performance is judged.”
    • standardised tests are
    • uniform in content,
    • Uniform in administration
    • Uniform in scoring
  • 10. Why are tests standardised?
    • Tests are standardised in order to allow for the comparison of results beyond the confines of a particular classroom or school.
  • 11.
    • What are the qualities of standardised tests?
    • 1) Constructed by experts in curriculum and measurement to provide
    • accurate, meaningful information on student’s level of performance
    • vocational orientation,
    • the objectivity of tests results
    • comprehensible grading,
    • improvement of the educational system in general.
    • 2) Facilitates teacher assessment (Grove 1997)
  • 12. Significance of Standardised tests
    • Student’s academic/vocational level
    • selection and placement
    • decision on which students to place in specific academic tracks like college preparation or vocational orientation.
    • evaluation of the progress of students in particular subject areas.
    • provide feedback, information, and incentive.
    • motivate students to give or improve a certain level of performance.
  • 13.
    • 2. Improvement of educational system
    • Standardised testing systems
    • help ministerial officials to diagnose, evaluate, account for, and improve the school system
    • reveal learning problems and strengths, indicating where modes of remediation are needed
    • help ministerial and school authorities to improve the academic staff situation
    • foster the accountability of schools
    • Answer questions on school performance
  • 14. 3. They help in grading: Universities in Cameroon conform to the following grading system Mark GPA ( Grade Point Average) Grades Honours Mention 16-20 4.00 A, A+ 1st Class Tr ès Bien 14-15.99 3-3.50 B, B+ 2nd Class (Lower - Upper) Bien 12-13.99 2.50 C+ 3rd Class Assez Bien 10-11.99 2.00 C Pass Passable
  • 15. What are some of setbacks of standardised tests? 1)They give false information about the status of learning in nation’s schools. 2) Selection of high achieving school’s high overall scores. 3) U nfair or biased against some kinds of students 4) corrupt the process of teaching and learning 5) time, energy and attention focused on the simpler skills tested
  • 16. 6) high achieving students are penalised if individual grades are averaged
  • 17.
    • How can we check the foregoing setbacks?
    • Implement assessments that are tied to real application of learning skills.
    • Recommend alternative or authentic assessment systems
    • 3. Set a variety of tests
  • 18. Clinton, William Jefferson “1997 State of the Union Address” Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Educational Issues . 10th ed.. James Wm. Noll (Ed). Dushkin: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 1999. 144 – 47 Finn, Chester E., Jr. “C for Effort” Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Educational Issues . 10th ed.. James Wm. Noll (Ed). Dushkin: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 1999. 148-52 Grove, Carole C. Educational Psychology: Theory and Practice. 5 th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1997.
  • 19. Change We Need Thank You