IS ASSESSMENT LITERACY A PRIORITY?

M. Genis

Nebrija University (SPAIN)
Assessing is a complex task, as many aspects of education need to be assessed such as the people concerned (students, teachers, other personnel), the tools and methods used, the validity of the results obtained and the consistency in applying them for improved planning and practice.

Assessment literacy implies knowing about the essential principles of assessment practice, i.e. the terminology, design and selection of the appropriate assessment techniques and tools, and the knowledge of standards against which to calibrate their quality. Despite its significance, assessment literacy has not been properly integrated in the instruction of future teachers.

This paper tries to contribute to the ongoing debate about the assessment training needs of future teachers, i.e. what knowledge, skills and principles are the fundamentals of assessment literacy. Several controversial issues come up, namely, what assessment literacy must include, what does item-writing imply, how to produce and use rating scales and interpret statistics, how to guarantee the reliability and validity of assessment, the reasons for assessing, the need of adaptation for diversity matters (race, disability, immigration,…), the consideration of students’ interests and values. The aim is to reflect on the approaches that can be used to implement procedures for standardized and classroom assessment contexts, and on the impact assessment might have upon their daily teaching practices.

References:
[1] Alderson, J. C., C. Clapham and D. Wall (1995). Language test construction and evaluation. Cambridge: CUP.
[2] Bachman, L. (1990), Fundamental Considerations in Language Testing. Oxford: OUP.
[3] Bachman, L. F. y Palmer, A. S. (1996), Language Testing in Practice: Designing and Developing Useful English Language Tests. Oxford: OUP.
[4] Davies, A. (2008). Textbook trends in teaching language testing. In Language Testing 25 (3), p327–348.