Are you effective? Do you know what to test and why?

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
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
-Communicative competences within skills:
Students performance in real world tasks
and in real world contexts
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.
*Gap fill.
What will be the impact in the
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
-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.
*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.
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?
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)
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.
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
Thank you very much!