Already we are in March and work has not slowed down for our Assess team. The Assess database now has full collections of illustrated worksheets, colourful flashcards with images and text, exams and rubrics to mark those exams. A collection of images has been prepped and finalised by the partners. All of this is now ready to be uploaded to the online exam tool which is currently being coded by the Spanish partner.
Regardless of CoVid-19 restrictions, our meetings have taken place bi-weekly online. We are hoping that restrictions will be lifted soon so that we can hold our Teaching, Training, Learning (TTL) event in Athens from the 30th of August to the 3rd of September 2021.
Regarding dissemination, our efforts have paid off with our Facebook page receiving 557 likes. A three-minute explainer video has been produced with subtitles in all partner languages. The video will be used to disseminate the project to all partner networks. You can watch the video here
The beginning of 2021 has been a bit disconcerting, the continuous incidents happening all over the world as well as the coming of the third wave of COVID-19 is making our lives different and difficult. All these changes show us that the world must be prepared for a different future, and this starts with our education. Quality education is one of the global goals for sustainable development in Unite 2030, since it is the basis for the prosperity of everyone. The project ASSESS works for getting an innovation in the way of assessing students.
The Online Exam Creator, which is our main product, is being developed by Inercia Digital along with the collaboration of Learnmera Oy. While this product is being created, the rest of partners are working creating rubrics for the assessment of all the exams that will be available in the OEC for teachers. This tool will let teachers have the opportunity to have exams, worksheets, scales, images and games for using in their lessons.
The partners will also create a guide for teachers explaining how to use this tool, moreover, a number of 30 teachers will be trained to use this tool. If you are an English teacher from Spain, Finland, Portugal, Turkey, Greece or Germany we invite you to participate in this innovative project.
With 2021 finally here, we wanted to take a moment and share a few thoughts concerning the assessment of the productive skills (speaking and writing). This is a quite complex task.
There are so many traits and competences that can be assessed: fluency, accuracy, complexity of language, vocabulary richness and/or range, acquisition of specific vocabulary, language chunks or grammar structures, content/ideas and details provided, sequencing or organization of ideas… and, how to measure all these traits/competences? How wide should each trait be for L1 or L2 learners at different stages of proficiency? Should we prioritize competences in the assessment of learner proficiency or should they all be weighted in the same way? What type of tasks should be used to assess learners’ speaking and writing proficiency? How often should productive skills be assessed?
The answers to all these questions are essential to the development of any effective approach to the assessment of proficiency in the productive skills. However, with so many approaches that exist, teachers often feel confused and frustrated when it comes to evaluate English Foreign Language Learners and create effective and valid rating scales.
Taking into account teachers’ difficulties and needs, the project ASSESS aims to define innovative methods and tools for the assessment of EFL learners. On the basis of approaches that already exist, the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), a range of information sources and data that was collected and analysed through questionnaires addressed to teachers, the project ASSESS will provide a handbook to suggest a usable scale construction model for application or adaptation in assessing speaking and writing exams, easily and in a reliable way. The objective is to contribute to the improvement of teachers’ skills in preparing reliable rating scales, allowing them to give a trait specific feedback according to different levels of achievement. Providing constructive feedback on speaking and writing (strengths and needs) is essential for helping students improve their skills.
In addition, in the web portal, speaking and writing exams will be complemented with an example of assessment scale ready to use or adapt.
We founded ASSESS project to help teachers find innovative tools for assessing English Foreign Language Learners. Our mission is being realized. We are eager to bring inspiration and innovation to foster good practices and facilitate the evaluation process.