I. Kofou

Hellenic Open University (GREECE)
Alternative assessment, including debates, diaries and learning logs, observations, peer- and self-assessment, portfolios, projects and many others, has been established for a number of reasons: dissatisfaction with types of information gathered through traditional, objective testing techniques; dissatisfaction with teacher-made tests which may generate faulty results on students’ progress; dissatisfaction with high-stakes/standardized tests; to ensure equity in educational opportunities and achieve educational excellence for all students. Alternative assessment, being less formal than traditional testing assessment procedures and recording information by anecdotal records, checklists, learner profiles, progress cards, questionnaires and rating scales, can easily be incorporated into the daily activities of the school or classroom and reflects student learning, achievement, motivation and attitudes on instructionally-relevant classroom activities. The portfolio, in particular, evaluates the process and product of learning and other language behaviors, evaluates and monitors instruction, and promotes autonomous and self-directed learning. It offers a continuous cumulative record of language development and an opportunity for collaborative assessment and goal-setting with students, removes the time constraint of formal testing and the stress associated with it, and offers the learner rich feedback.

In the context described above, the European Language Portfolio (ELP) was experimentally implemented on 2nd graders of the 2nd Experimental Senior High School of Thessaloniki, Greece during the school year 2015-2016 as a teaching and assessment tool for writing. The research incorporated a checklist for writing with ‘can do’ statements and ‘next goals’ in accordance with the Common European Framework of References (C.E.F.R.), a Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) Likert-scale checklist, a self-evaluation checklist, peer-evaluation rating scales and a rating scale used by the teacher. The whole endeavor, practiced on three writings, resulted in student active involvement in the process of writing, greater responsibility and progress in the writing product.