A Haipei Perspective on Assessment in Teaching
-Report on Haipei Professional Development
By Wang Jian
Haipei academic staff met on the morning of Friday April 26, 2019 for the second professional development session this semester. Deputy Dean Chen Liqing attended the presentation and participated in the discussions.
Dr. Zhu Yushan made a well prepared presentation on assessment in language teaching with reference to the assessment practices in Haipei. He first introduced some key concepts in language assessment and 'the principles of good practice' in designing a language test. Then he outlined the features of a well-designed language test from the perspectives of validity, reliability, practicality and impact. In the last part of the presentation, he delivered an overview of Haipai assessment system and illustrated different assessment practices of the various programs. He suggested that whenever we assess our students, regardless of the assessment forms, we should bear in mind that the ultimate goal of assessment is to encourage learning and positive attitudes toward life on the students' part.
After the presentation, Zhu Yushan also chaired the discussion session, in which our colleagues were divided into three groups on the basis of the programs they are involved in. The three groups had in-depth discussions on features of a good language test, reflected on their assessment experiences and proposed some suggestions on Haipei assessment system.
Huang Shuang's group pointed out that it is difficult to standardize the tests for all programs since programs differ in course contents and requirements. They proposed that if we want to design standardized tests, more collaboration between teachers will be needed. The group also suggested when designing a test, we should be very cautious about some taboo topics such as terrorism and drug abuse.
Group II, led by Hao Jingjie, focused their discussions on Western Culture as its course content varies in different programs. They proposed to create a general standard of assessment so that students can perform better in their tests. They also mentioned that as foreign language teachers, we need to take into consideration the local context and avoid some sensitive topics in class.
Chen Jia's group summarized some good formative assessment practices done by the Waikato team in the Waikato Program and suggested the Chinese team may adopt more formative assessment forms in classroom teaching so that students can take advantage of their different learning styles. They also suggested that teachers need to be practical in designing assessment tasks since some of them may have to teach up to 2 hundred students a week.