Are you effective? Do you know what to test and why? By Mark Griffiths Irma Guerra Martínez Colegio De La Salle Matamoros, Tam. Do we know what to test and why? Do we even agree on what we should be measuring? What type of assessment you want to do? There are three types of assessments: One of the areas we want to assess is the communicative Competence. What do you want the assessment to measure? -Communicative competences within skills: Reading/Writing Speaking/Listening -Authenticity Students performance in real world tasks and in real world contexts Authenticity Does your test include: -real-world tasks? -real word contexts? Order your meals. Describe the picture. How are you going to measure the students’ skills? Productive vs Objective items. -Productive test items: *Speaking and writing tasks. *Integrated skills. -Objective test items: *Multiple choice. *True/false. *Gap fill. What will be the impact in the classroom? The choice of test influences what happens: -within a classroom (washback). -within an education system. -can be positive or negative. Do learners know what is going to be tested? -Tell them why they are doing it. -Be clear about the goals. -What they should learn/practice. -What they should know about their performance. - The bad and the good. -What they can do to improve their skills. Validity *Does the test test what you think it tests? *Is the test a representative sample? *Is the test fair to all learners? If not, the test is: not valid, not reliable, negative impact. Reliability Ask a colleague to check your tests. -Is the test practical to administer? -Is the test relatively easy to create/obtain? -Is the test not too time-consuming to mark? -Is it correctly written? -Are instructions clear? -The test should not require too many resources. SUMMARY.- Using assessment effectively: Purpose: Diagnostic, formative, summative? Competences: Linguistic, interactional, etc. Authenticity: Are the tasks real-world? Productive/Objective: Which test items, tasks? Impact: Impact on the classroom? Validity: Does it test what you want to test? Fairness: Is it fair to all? Reliable: Were the tasks reliable? Learner awareness:Do they know what is it for? SUMMARY: Using assessment to be more effective. “The goal of assessment is to improve learning and teaching. In truth, we cannot be effective teachers nor can students be effective learners unless we understand the different types of assessments and use them wisely. Then we can provide a clear picture of learning and a road map to success.” (Valencia, 2002) CONCLUSION: Assessments enable teachers to evaluate the quality of students’ learning. Some students believe that the purpose of the exams is to fulfill the instructor’s requirements. Tests should be a motivation for the students, and should reflect their improvements in the subject. Designing the perfect test for our students is time-consuming but it is fair for learners. MEXTESOL 2015 Attending Mextesol 2015 was a great experience but at the same time it is a big responsibility. Meeting and listening to people from different countries, cities and schools enhanced my knowledge about the latest breakthroughs in teaching a second language. It is now my turn to share with my colleagues what was learned and plan a project to implement the strategies to improve our daily teaching to help our students succeed in learning English. Thank you very much!