The focus of this symposium is classroom-based assessment and the assessment of learning.
English language education is undergoing rapid change in Vietnam. These changes affect all aspects of education, and all sectors from primary school through university. The setting of standards and attainment goals are often at the core of these changes. But while public discussion is often focused on large-scale standardized tests for high stakes purposes, for example to achieve exit requirements to graduate from university, much less is known about what goes on in the classroom to help students meet these goals.
With claims being made that teachers spend from around one third to one half of their time in the classroom on assessment-related activities coupled with claims that many teachers know little about educational assessment, it appears that though certainly of importance, the theory and practice of classroom-based, or formative, assessments have been somewhat neglected in teacher training programmes.
Research suggests assessment and learning should be strongly related if the results of student assessment are to provide teachers with a means to monitor and adapt their instruction and to facilitate students’ motivation and awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses.
However, achieving these benefits poses significant challenges for teachers without explicit training. In addition, gathering evidence to substantiate claims of how classroom-based assessment facilitates learning can be difficult, especially for time-strapped teachers for whom research may not be a high priority.
Other important questions include how to address quality in such assessments, and whether teachers actually change their teaching practices, or students their learning habits, based on findings from classroom-based assessments.
Indeed, anecdotal evidence suggests that in practice many classroom-based assessments are often simply used for summative purposes. It will be the objective of this symposium to address some of these for classroom-based assessment, and to focus on different methods and practices to inform student learning and instruction.
- Classroom-based assessments to inform learning
- Classroom-based assessments to inform teaching
- Assessment literacy for teachers
- Alternative assessments
- Properties of classroom-based assessments vs. standardised assessments
- Validity and reliability of classroom-based assessments
- Issues and challenges in classroom-based assessments
- Classroom-based assessments and meeting needs of diverse learners
- Classroom-based assessments and technology