E-assessment of speaking: current trends and future directions

E-assessment of speaking: current trends and future directions woman attending webinar
Date: 14 Jun 2022 Venue: Online
Time: 12:30 - 14:00
Type: Workshop Fee: £95 (Members - £85.50)

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This workshop will explore some of the possible applications of technology in both the delivery and marking of speaking assessments.

The workshop will be useful to practitioners interested in developing their understanding of online speaking assessments and those interested in exploring recent research into the comparability of in-person and video call paired-format speaking tests.

Course outline

We will discuss the two predominant perspectives of the speaking test construct, highlighting how it has shaped, and been shaped, by concerns related to validity, reliability, impact and practicality.

This will provide a frame of reference for how technology has been used in high-stakes speaking assessments and the implications for future developments.

We will also share findings from recent research into the comparability of in-person and video call paired-format speaking tests and examine some of the advantages and limitations of automated speaking assessment.

Exploring the extent to which common perceptions of speech auto-markers are in keeping with reality, we will consider how hybrid-marking solutions seek to combine the respective strengths of machine and human raters. We will also provide an example of speech auto-marking being used in an app-based learning context.

Key learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop you will have:

  • Gained an insight into the prevailing conceptions of the speaking construct and their implications for assessment
  • Considered the benefits and challenges associated with different types of speaking assessment
  • Learned about some of the different possible applications of technology in both the delivery and marking of speaking assessments

Course trainer

Nick Glasson has worked at Cambridge University Press and Assessment for over fourteen years. He is currently a Senior Assessment Research Manager and his role includes both the production of test materials from commissioning to the construction of live exams and research projects. His experience has covered a wide range of examinations currently or previously offered by Cambridge. He has worked on both a range of English language proficiency exams as well as teaching qualifications. He also has extensive experience in assessment consultancy projects delivered by Cambridge to Ministries of Education and related awarding bodies.  Before joining Cambridge, Nick spent seven years teaching English as a foreign language in Indonesia. Nick has an M.Ed. in Applied Linguistics from the Open University, UK and is currently studying towards a PhD in Language Assessment with the Centre for Research in English Language Learning and Assessment, University of Bedfordshire focused on online L2 interaction.

Andrew Mullooly is a member of the Assessment Quality & Validity Capability team at Cambridge Assessment English. As part of his roles and responsibilities, he is the Joint Chair of the Speaking Skills Group and has been involved in a number of projects related to Speaking test development and technology. Before working at Cambridge, he lived in Japan for several years and has also taught English in both Spain and Italy.

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