Assessment: Lesson 2
Indirect assessment tries to assess the abilities that underlie the skills we are measuring and often uses items where the student selects a response, rather than constructing their own. One common kind of question used in indirect assessment is multiple-choice or binary questions (True/False), such as parts 1 and 4 of the sample test.
Advantages of Multiple Choice
Before watching the video, think about why teachers use multiple choice questions.
Language teachers discuss the advantages of multiple choice tests.
To summarize, multiple choice tests have some advantages which include:
• easy to score,
• increase reliability,
• may lower test anxiety,
• requires little instruction, and
• manageable for beginning learners who can’t produce a lot.
Disadvantages of Multiple Choice
Having considered the advantages, let’s consider what could be problematic about multiple-choice questions.
Before watching the video, think of several disadvantages of these test questions.
Language teachers consider the disadvantages of multiple choice questions.
There are a number of problems in using multiple choice questions, some of which follow:
• only assesses recognition of language,
• limited inferences about language possible,
• inauthentic to real language use,
• students can guess the answers, and
• writing successful multiple choice questions is difficult.
Another common type of question is the fill-in-the blank item. In the sample test, Part 5 included these items. They are often found in assessment of grammar and vocabulary. While they do require students to produce language, which is different from multiple-choice questions, they are rather inauthentic in terms of language use.
Advantages of Fill-in-the-Blank
Language teachers discuss advantages of using fill-in-the-blank questions in assessing language.
Some of the advantages to fill-in-the-blank include:
• high reliability,
• easier to write, and
• limits guessing.
Disadvantages of Fill-in-the-Blank
Although they may have advantages, there are a number of problems with fill-in the blank questions.
Language teachers discuss the problems in using fill-in-the-blank questions.
Some of the disadvantages with these kind of questions are that
• they are harder to score,
• numerous possible correct answers may exist,
• what is being measured is hard to define,
• takes more time for students to complete them, and
• they are not communicative.
[Module Instructor Dr. Lia Plakans]. 2010. [Assessment]. In Foreign Language Teaching Methods. Carl Blyth, Editor. Texas Language Technology Center, University of Texas at Austin. http://coerll.utexas.edu
The material is provided free of charge for those that wish to study it.
How ever a no obligation exam is available at the end of this module.