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ielts.orgielts.org
The Digital World
and the Future of
English Language
Assessment
ielts.org
Presenters
Megan Agnew
Global Account Manager, Higher Education
British Council
Amy Carter
Director, Partnerships & Communications
IELTS USA
Justin Rodford
Alliance Manager
Cambridge Assessment English
ielts.org
Test of international English
4 skills – Listening, Reading,
Writing, and Speaking
Paper and pencil or computer-
delivered with a live face-to-face
Speaking
2 tests - Academic & General
Training
9-band scale ranging from 1 to 9
A variety of question types (not just
multiple choice)
Consistently trained and standardised
examiners and marking staff
Jointly owned by 3 global partners
Did you know…
ielts.org
British Council
UK's international organisation for
cultural relations and educational
opportunity
3 Global
Partners
IDP: IELTS Australia
Australia’s international education
organisation set up by public
universities in 1969
Cambridge Assessment
English
World's leading producer of
exams for learners of English
ielts.org
History of IELTS
Joint consultative group formed with the
British Council to initiate an English
Language Testing System (ELTS)
ELTS was introduced in 1980 to replace
tests being used to screen international
applicants to universities in the UK
The ELTS test offered a choice of six
modules which covered five area of
study, plus one non-specific area
1. Life Sciences
2. Social Studies
3. Physical Sciences
4. Technology
5. Medicine
6. General academic
Non-Academic test for test
takers wanting to find employment
in an English speaking country
ielts.org
In 1987 Cambridge Assessment English (the
UCLES EFL) was asked to review the test
It was suggested that ELTS should be
simplified and shortened. The non-academic
test was replaced by the General test
IDP Education Australia – joined the British
Council and Cambridge Assessment English to
form an international partnership
History of IELTS
ielts.org
#IELTS30years
ielts.org
1989
IELTS
founded
• Changed from ELTS to the International English Language Testing System
• The new test contains four sections:
#IELTS30years
• Key considerations for the new test:
• Validity
• Reliability
• Impact
• Practicality
ielts.org
1995
Test
revised
• Revised version of IELTS
introduced, including the
current format of the non-
academic “General
Training” test. First call for
independent researchers
to contribute to IELTS
research.
#IELTS30years
• IELTS Research Reports publication
debuts, containing articles by
independent academics from across
the world. Demand for IELTS
increases.
1998
Research
Reports
published
ielts.org
2001
New
Speaking
test
• New Speaking test
introduced, with new
areas of focus,
developing a clearer
specification of tasks &
Examiner frame to
standardised test
management & revision
of the rating scale
#IELTS30years
• IELTS continues to grow in
popularity
2004
500,000
tests taken
around the
world
2008
1,000,000
milestone
reached
• Demand increases to
1million tests around
the world
ielts.org
2017
IELTS on
computer
• With high demand for
increased access, the
IELTS partners
introduce IELTS on
computer
#IELTS30years
2018
3.5 million
tests taken
• New record high of
tests taken in a year
2019
30 year
anniversary!
ielts.org
IELTS on computer
It’s the same IELTS test, in terms of:
Standards
Content
Preparation
Result format
The Speaking test is still face-to-face, as
it is the most effective way of assessing
speaking skills
ielts.org
Face-to-Face Speaking Test
An excellent example of the benefits to taking the IELTS test
• Valid and Reliable:
– Reflects how we communicate in real life; more than reading aloud from
a screen
• Dynamic and Responsive:
– Examiner can actively encourage the test taker towards their natural
ceiling of ability
• Adapt to different accents and dialects
• Rephrase questions, ask follow-up questions
• Harder to Game:
– Examiner can spot ‘gaming’ and uncover true communicative ability
that a computer might not
• Repeating key words and phrases from the question
• Parrot-learnt answers on common conversational themes
Speaking is a vital
skill in successful
engagement in HE
ielts.org
What are the key benefits?
Choice between taking IELTS on paper or on computer –
increasing accessibility
More test dates and test sessions, allowing test takers to
choose IELTS at a time convenient for them
New test centres can be set-up in 8-10 weeks to respond to
any capacity constraints
Test takers will receive their computer-delivered IELTS
results within in 5-7 days
ielts.org
Expanding Capacity: computer-delivered IELTS
Offers a choice
Launched in Australia in
December 2017, with a global
roll-out programme beginning
January 2018
Currently available in 54 countries
including:
• Canada
• Vietnam
• Thailand
• UAE
• Qatar
• Sri Lanka
• India
ielts.org
ielts.orgielts.org
IELTS and the
digital world
ielts.org
IELTS and the digital world
We have seen how IELTS is using technology to:
• deliver our test
ielts.orgielts.org
Student resources
• Computer-delivered IELTS sample task &
orientation material available on:
– Listening
– Reading
– Writing
– Speaking
• IELTS Progress Check
ielts.org
ielts.org
Immersive video
ielts.org
ielts.org
Thank you

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Justin Rodford, Megan Agnew and Amy Carter

  • 1. ielts.orgielts.org The Digital World and the Future of English Language Assessment
  • 2. ielts.org Presenters Megan Agnew Global Account Manager, Higher Education British Council Amy Carter Director, Partnerships & Communications IELTS USA Justin Rodford Alliance Manager Cambridge Assessment English
  • 3. ielts.org Test of international English 4 skills – Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking Paper and pencil or computer- delivered with a live face-to-face Speaking 2 tests - Academic & General Training 9-band scale ranging from 1 to 9 A variety of question types (not just multiple choice) Consistently trained and standardised examiners and marking staff Jointly owned by 3 global partners Did you know…
  • 4. ielts.org British Council UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunity 3 Global Partners IDP: IELTS Australia Australia’s international education organisation set up by public universities in 1969 Cambridge Assessment English World's leading producer of exams for learners of English
  • 5. ielts.org History of IELTS Joint consultative group formed with the British Council to initiate an English Language Testing System (ELTS) ELTS was introduced in 1980 to replace tests being used to screen international applicants to universities in the UK The ELTS test offered a choice of six modules which covered five area of study, plus one non-specific area 1. Life Sciences 2. Social Studies 3. Physical Sciences 4. Technology 5. Medicine 6. General academic Non-Academic test for test takers wanting to find employment in an English speaking country
  • 6. ielts.org In 1987 Cambridge Assessment English (the UCLES EFL) was asked to review the test It was suggested that ELTS should be simplified and shortened. The non-academic test was replaced by the General test IDP Education Australia – joined the British Council and Cambridge Assessment English to form an international partnership History of IELTS
  • 8. ielts.org 1989 IELTS founded • Changed from ELTS to the International English Language Testing System • The new test contains four sections: #IELTS30years • Key considerations for the new test: • Validity • Reliability • Impact • Practicality
  • 9. ielts.org 1995 Test revised • Revised version of IELTS introduced, including the current format of the non- academic “General Training” test. First call for independent researchers to contribute to IELTS research. #IELTS30years • IELTS Research Reports publication debuts, containing articles by independent academics from across the world. Demand for IELTS increases. 1998 Research Reports published
  • 10. ielts.org 2001 New Speaking test • New Speaking test introduced, with new areas of focus, developing a clearer specification of tasks & Examiner frame to standardised test management & revision of the rating scale #IELTS30years • IELTS continues to grow in popularity 2004 500,000 tests taken around the world 2008 1,000,000 milestone reached • Demand increases to 1million tests around the world
  • 11. ielts.org 2017 IELTS on computer • With high demand for increased access, the IELTS partners introduce IELTS on computer #IELTS30years 2018 3.5 million tests taken • New record high of tests taken in a year 2019 30 year anniversary!
  • 12. ielts.org IELTS on computer It’s the same IELTS test, in terms of: Standards Content Preparation Result format The Speaking test is still face-to-face, as it is the most effective way of assessing speaking skills
  • 13. ielts.org Face-to-Face Speaking Test An excellent example of the benefits to taking the IELTS test • Valid and Reliable: – Reflects how we communicate in real life; more than reading aloud from a screen • Dynamic and Responsive: – Examiner can actively encourage the test taker towards their natural ceiling of ability • Adapt to different accents and dialects • Rephrase questions, ask follow-up questions • Harder to Game: – Examiner can spot ‘gaming’ and uncover true communicative ability that a computer might not • Repeating key words and phrases from the question • Parrot-learnt answers on common conversational themes Speaking is a vital skill in successful engagement in HE
  • 14. ielts.org What are the key benefits? Choice between taking IELTS on paper or on computer – increasing accessibility More test dates and test sessions, allowing test takers to choose IELTS at a time convenient for them New test centres can be set-up in 8-10 weeks to respond to any capacity constraints Test takers will receive their computer-delivered IELTS results within in 5-7 days
  • 15. ielts.org Expanding Capacity: computer-delivered IELTS Offers a choice Launched in Australia in December 2017, with a global roll-out programme beginning January 2018 Currently available in 54 countries including: • Canada • Vietnam • Thailand • UAE • Qatar • Sri Lanka • India
  • 18. ielts.org IELTS and the digital world We have seen how IELTS is using technology to: • deliver our test
  • 19. ielts.orgielts.org Student resources • Computer-delivered IELTS sample task & orientation material available on: – Listening – Reading – Writing – Speaking • IELTS Progress Check

Editor's Notes

  1. Justin
  2. Megan Agnew Global Account Manager, Higher Education British Council Amy Carter Director, Partnerships & Communications IELTS USA Justin Rodford Alliance Manager Cambridge Assessment English
  3. For those of you not aware of IELTS Test of international English Tests 4 skills – Listening Reading Writing and Speaking It can be taken on computer or paper with a live face to face speaking test The IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training It’s scored on a 9 band scale A variety of question types not just multiple choice Trained and standadised examiners and marking staff
  4. It’s owned by 3 partners The British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia are responsible for test delivery Cambridge Assessment English are responsible for test production, research and development and analysis
  5. 1991 25,000+ IELTS tests are taken 1994 IELTS test are delivered through 210 test centres in 105 countries with 41,000+ IELTS tests taken 1995 Revised version of IELTS introduced, including the current format of the non-academic “General Training” test. First call for independent researchers to contribute to IELTS research. 1998 IELTS Research Reports publication debuts, containing articles by independent academics from across the world. Demand for IELTS widens and participation commences in NAFSA events in the US 1999 Launch of “Caroline Clapham Award” for Master’s thesis (presented to University of Toronto candidate in 2000). 106,000+ IELTS tests taken 2000 IELTS USA is founded. First year of global partner membership with NAFSA. Partnership continues to grow and develop ever since. 2001 A revised version of the Speaking test is launched. 200,000+ IELTS tests taken. 2004 500,000 + IELTS tests taken 2008 1 million IELTS tests milestone reached. 2013 Over 2.2 million IELTS tests taken IELTS is accepted by over 9,000 institutions and delivered in 900+ locations around the world 2014 We celebrated 25 years of IELTS 2015 IELTS for UKVI and IELTS Life Skills are introduced 2017 Computer-delivered IELTS is launched in Melbourne 2018 3.5 million IELTS tests are taken 2019 30 years of IELTS with more than 26 million tests taken since 1989
  6. Validity, in its technical sense with regard to test design, means: does the test measure what it’s supposed to measure? Imagine a language test item which asks you what is 2 PLUS 2? Would that be a valid question type? (AUDIENCE NRMALLY MURMURS ‘NO’) Why not ? (ELLICIT ANSWER). IF NO VALID ANSWER SAY: Its clearly not testing what it supposed to be testing. Its measuring mathematical ability as well as English. For a test to be valid it should measure the quality or skill it intends to measure, and nothing else. OPTIONAL (but recommended): ADD PERSONAL ANECDOTE WHICH MAKES THIS POINT. FOR EXAMPLE: I once took a really difficult statistics course I the US with a professor who used baseball examples in his maths problems. I didn’t have the specific information e.g. the baseball scoring system necessary to understand the problems. If understanding a test item depends on knowledge of culture-specific references it may be testing background knowledge (and be culturally biased as well!). So a test should not measure irrelevant ability, but it DOES need to measure all or as many of the skills we want to test. Imagine a test of academic speaking which tests social interaction but not extended discussion. Would that be a valid test of academic speaking ability? PAUSE (someone will usually mutter ‘NO). We consider validity a very important quality in a test. Reliability basically means does it measure consistently? (over time and space etc.). We can design a test which is wonderfully valid given the contexts it is to be used in, but it is of no use as a global high stakes test of English, if it does not produce consistently reliable results regardless of e.g. where, when, and by whom it is taken. All tests have impact, on teaching and learning , on the institutions who use test results for selection, and on wider society in general. We want the impact of the test taking experience on the test-taker to be positive, that is, to prepare student for success beyond the test. It also needs to have a positive impact in the classroom re teaching and test prep. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘washback effect’. All teachers know that learners will often only want to learn what they need to do to pass the test. This makes it doubly important that the test items we select have a valid use in the real world. Finally, IELTS is taken by millions of test takers every year. We want it to have a positive impact on the wider world as a tool for equity, and in this way to contribute to a more meritocratic society. It is part of the broader missions of all three IELTS partners, CAE, IDP, and the British Council, to work towards achieving such positive impact. The final test quality, Practicality, relates to things like how easy the test is to administer and score, in terms of time and resources. The original Cambridge Proficiency exam back in 1913 was 12 hours long and tested phonetics, dictation and translation as well as communicative language use. So it was possibly exhaustive in gathering its sample, taking evidence from a wide range of skills and knowledge (and almost certainly exhausting for the candidates) But what was the problem with this test ? PAUSE Yes. Too long, impractical to administer and score. And this matters because reduced practicality generally translates into higher costs, and higher costs mean higher test fees, which reduce access to the exam So, a test needs to meet the principles of Validity and Reliability and Impact, but it also be practical in terms of things such as time and cost as well. So these 4 characteristics , Validity, testing what we want to test and nothing else, Reliability measuring and scoring consistently over time and place, Impact, making sure tests have a positive impact on learning, and Practicality, ease and cost of administration and are what we have to keep in mind when designing a test. But of course. CLICK
  7. 2001 A revised version of the Speaking test is launched. 200,000+ IELTS tests taken. 2004 500,000 + IELTS tests taken 2008 1 million IELTS tests milestone reached.
  8. 2017 Computer-delivered IELTS is launched in Melbourne 2018 3.5 million IELTS tests are taken; 1400 test locations 2019 30 years of IELTS with more than 26 million tests taken since 1989
  9. 2017 It’s exactly the same IELTS, in terms of content and structure, but test takers will take it on computer; sitting in a modern computer lab using the latest technology. More choice Test takers can choose to take their test on computer or paper, giving them added confidence to help them perform at their best on test day. Faster results Quicker processing with computer-delivered IELTS means that scores will be available to test takers 5 to 7 days after the test has been completed. Also, as a recognising organisation, you will receive and be able to verify results sooner. Greater availability as test centres are able to offer more test dates and sessions The test day experience
  10. With exactly the same content, format, and scoring as the paper-based version, test takers now have the ability to take the IELTS test on paper, or on computer, a choice customers can make based on their individual preferences. IELTS transforming and responding to customer needs Increasing accessibility; digital transformation of IELTS More choice - Test takers can choose to take their test on computer or paper, giving them added confidence to help them perform at their best on test day. Faster results - quicker processing with computer-delivered IELTS means that scores will be available to test takers 5 to 7 days after the test has been completed. Also, as a recognising organisation, you will receive and be able to verify results sooner. Innovative improvement to service delivery – timelier results Greater availability - as test centres are able to offer more test dates and sessions Demand-driven testing, up to 3 times a day, 7 days a week
  11. Choice between PB and CD 1600 locations and growing
  12. Systems: Extended Ecosystem Enables Digital Teachers For all Students Any Device Massive Digital Content Extends Learning Infrastructure Provides Continuity Makes connections: Home and School School and University University and Workplace Plurilingualism Empowering: Benefits Greater Autonomy “Always on” - everywhere More time-on-task Enhanced Motivation Greater Authenticity Visible Outcomes
  13. IELTS has secure management system processes at the 3 key stages of the test that is - prior to test day, on the test day itself and post test day. Prior to test day: Every test is a unique set of questions and versions for different time zones resulting in no two test sittings being the same, and ensuring that test takers cannot relay test content across time zones Secure automated and tracked dispatch of test papers from Cambridge, delivered to test centres. Papers are then locked in a 2 tier security system (at a minimum) and not opened until test day in the test room.  Test day: Invigilators are present and in the test room and all test takers seeking to leave the test room are accompanied by supervisors and their identity is re-confirmed on re-entry to the test room. All test centre staff are trained in identity resolution techniques and Test centre administrators receive impostor recognition training from immigration authorities from the UK, Australia and Canada. We also have a test day Identity Authentication Management system (IAM) – and this is the biometric component of IELTS security. IAM captures the high resolution image and finger scan of each candidate on test day to verify the correct identity of the candidate throughout the IELTS testing process It gives greater assurance for stakeholders regarding reliability and increased protection for genuine candidates by ensuring the person pictured on the TRF is the same person who sat all components. Here is a short video on IAM.
  14. Now let’s talk about IELTS security systems. We actively monitor the latest technological advancements and internet activity adjust our systems accordingly. Multi-layered mechanisms and controls are embedded within IELTS test operations to mitigate the risk of security breaches, to ensure that genuine test results are secure and that fake or falsified results are systematically identified. These robust measures protect genuine test takers and the interests of the recognising organisation who rely on the integrity of IELTS results. Trusted by governments for visa purposes for many years, IELTS is acknowledged for its leadership in developing security systems and measures in the field of English language test delivery. The secure management and delivery of the test is of paramount importance to the IELTS Test Partners.
  15. Want to create an environment in which the test taker is able to perform to the best of their ability. We look at the environment from two angles. Comfort – Consider heating / lighting / acoustics / external noise / posters. Security – Minimum desk spacing to ensure no copying/collusion can take place. Belongings Storage Bags stored in a separate room before test takers enter test room. Away from test room, out of range for Bluetooth devices. Only allowed to take along ID, transparent bottle (no label, Evian example), writing implements. Customer Journey One-way Material Movement Sealed bags removed from safe Must be logged and accounted for at all stages throughout the test day ID Checks Key part of security system. Regulations for test takers registering for the test are rigorous and detailed. On test day, on arrival at the test centre, test takers present their passport and their identity is checked. A high resolution photo and a finger scan is taken, in accordance to local privacy laws. Finger scans are stored as binary data only and no photo of the scan is kept on record. As I mentioned before, the L, W, R test is taken all at once and lasts nearly 3 hours. The speaking test is scheduled up to 7 days before or after for logistical reasons. The photo and finder scan are taken to ensure that both parts of the test (the written part – L/R/W – and the spoken part) are taken by the same person. Centre must ensure the correct test taker is sitting the test. Test taker identity must be confirmed – if the test taker doesn’t bring the correct ID document they are not able to take the test. ID checked at several points throughout the test day. We use IAM (our biometric identity verification process) to support the manual ID check. Invigilator Script Invigilators globally follow a script to ensure the same experience for all test takers. We insist on the script being followed, so we can be sure that they have heard all regulations and all warnings about cheating and time management.
  16. ID Check consists of: Visual facial recognition ID check – document acceptable, genuine and valid – i.e. not out of date? IAM – capture of fingerscan and photo Use of 2nd Generation ID reader in world‘s largest single market China, where ROs recruit many of their applicants and we work closely with immigration services
  17. Website Instagram Facebook Some of them just take money and disappear. Others deliver counterfeit TRFs with fake covering letters. Others go even further by creating fake Verification System
  18. Let’s now discuss what occurs after the test day Results are released to test takers 13 calendar days after the test. During this time, test results are analysed to ensure their integrity before they are released. Where analysis indicates anomalies, results are re-marked, and where necessary withheld pending further investigation.  And, as mentioned earlier, analytical processes identify nonstandard marking, and trend analysis identifying improbable score gains is also performed. It’s very important to the IELTS partners to provide a highly consistent and uniform test management process worldwide and this is ensured by a global audit program – including scheduled site audit, spot audit, Partner audit, Desk based (themed audits), Self audit. And global processes and policies to govern each of these. The test report form includes many security features such as a globally consistent weight of paper and special security ink throughout. It always has the three partner logo’s imprinted at the bottom of it, candidate numbers are defined and unique. Test centre stamp and the date of the test are also included. IELTS also provides an online verification service for stakeholders that we will discuss in more detail shortly. This allows for your participation in ensuring the integrity of the genuine test taker. So all in all IELTS provides comprehensive security features right throughout the value chain of test production and through to delivery, validation and verification.
  19. There has been a lot of talks during the conference on AI. We think it’s not fully there yet for language testing but for learning there are angles that can be used
  20. We have seen how IELTS is using technology to: deliver our test support our test takers
  21. More digital resources available today to help people learn - IELTS are helping in this space with online prep resources such as IELTS Progress Check. Which is available for both Academic and General Training
  22. IELTS Progress Check is an official, online practice test. Completed tests are marked by IELTS trained and qualified markers and test takers will receive an official feedback report, including an indicative overall test band score as well as a band score for each section of the test (Reading, Listening, Writing & Speaking). All within 5 days of completing their IELTS Progress Check practice test!
  23. In addition to the online content we also have a range of offline content as well