Teaching is a process of passingexplained information on givensubjects or disciplines that areworldwide accepted as valid andnot contested.- It is the activity that helpsstudents to achieve the objectivesof the lesson, course, syllabus orcurriculum.
Tests are the types of activities thatallow you to see if the studentshave achieved the objectives of thelesson, course, syllabus, orcurriculum.Test is one of the procedures thatcan be used to assess studentsperformance. It has a specificobjective to measure.
Washback / backwash : is theinfluence of testing on teachingand learning.-the extent to which a testinfluences language teachersand learners to do thingsthey would not necessarilyotherwise do that promote orinhibit language learning.
Negative washback ignoring subjects and activities that did not contribute directly to pass the exam. “teaching to the test” leads to adopted more of a memorization approach, with reduced emphasis on critical thinking. The test may not touch upon some skills and areas.
Negative washback Students were practicing exam techniques rather than language learning activities. Tests may fail to reflect the learning principles or the course objectives. Students may not be able to learn real- life knowledge, but instead learn discrete points of knowledge that are tested.
Positive washback When tests become as teaching- learning activities. Open doors for changes in methodologies and syllabus. Focusing on the washback helps to find solutions for the negative side.
Positive washback Tests induce teachers to cover their subjects and complete their syllabi within the prescribed time limits. Tests motivate students to work harder to have a sense of accomplishment and thus enhance learning.
We should keep in mind that thequality of the washback effectmight be independent of the qualityof a test.i.e we may have positivewashback of bad designed test.
Preparing learners for testsThere are two types of preparation: The first type is designed to familiarise learners with the item types on the test, the kinds of instructions they will encounter, and give them practice in working within time limitation.This type of preparation reduces the chance that scores will be affected by their unfamiliarity with any aspect of the test.
Preparing learners for tests The second type is designed to increase the score of the test taker by instilling test- taking techniques that focus upon the test items, rather than improving the learner’s ability on the constructs in question.For example, by spending time looking at the options in multiple-choice items to discover how frequently the longest option is likely to be the correct response.This type of preparation distracts learners from the real task of learning.
The criteria of good test•Validity: A valid test measures what it ought to betesting.•Reliability: A test should provide consistency inmeasuring the items being evaluated.•Practicality: A practical test is easy to administer andto score without wasting too much time or effort.•Comprehension: A good test should becomprehensive – covering all the items which have been studies.
The criteria of good test• Relevance: The item of an effective test shouldmeasure the desired objectives or achievement.• Balance: A practical test evaluates both linguisticand communicative competence.• Authenticity: The language of a test should reflecteveryday discourse.
The criteria of good test• Difficulty.• Clarity.• Objectivity.• Time: a good test should be appropriate in lengthfor the allotted time.
Why do we test students?*Evaluating prior learning (Diagnostic)* Providing feedback (Formative)* Providing reinforcement (Formative)* Assigning grades (Summative)* Certifying competence (Summative)
Why do we test students?• to demonstrate proficiency (certification)• to identify needs (development)• to compare ability (performance)• to provide useful feedback to students.
How can test help learners/teachers?For learners:•Assessments reflect the concepts and skills thatthe teacher emphasized in class.•Providing important feedback on their learningprogress• Helping them identify learning problems.
How can test help learners/teachers?For teachers:Helping them identify what they taught well andwhat they need to work on. i.e. Missed test itemsspecify the problem.