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Collaboration in Language Testing and Assessment

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Edited By Dina Tsagari and Ildikó Csépes

The Guidelines for Good Practice of the European Association for Language Testing and Assessment (EALTA) stress the importance of collaboration between all parties involved in the process of developing instruments, activities and programmes for testing and assessment. Collaboration is considered to be as important as validity and reliability, providing a crucial prerequisite for responsibility and respect for students. The papers, covering a range of topics that consider both realities and prospects of collaboration, were originally presented at EALTA conferences from 2008 to 2010.

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Gudrun Erickson, Lisbeth Åberg-Bengtsson: Collaborative Approach to National Test Development

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93 A Collaborative Approach to National Test Development Gudrun Erickson1 and Lisbeth Åberg-Bengtsson2 University of Gothenburg & University of Borås, Sweden With its conceptual basis in an extended view of validity, this chapter discusses the development process surrounding the extensive system of national summative tests and formative assessment materials for foreign languages in Sweden. The approach adopted in this work is collaborative and reciprocal, with systematic involvement of teachers, teacher educators, researchers within different fields, and, importantly, large numbers of students of different ages. On the basis of a brief outline of the educational and political context, the development process is described, from the theoretical and reasoning phase, through design, pre-testing and standard setting procedures, to various forms of research on outcomes. Examples are given of contributions from different stakeholders: teacher analyses of the comparability and equivalence of tests of different languages at the same level, feedback from students on various aspects of tasks, and structural equation modelling to increase understanding of the dimensionality of test results. With reference to EALTA’s Guidelines for Good Practice, it is argued that the same basic principles for Good Practice in Language Testing and Assessment apply to large-scale contexts as well as to continuous, small-scale assessment in classrooms. Key words: validity, test development, collaboration, stakeholders, good practice 1. Introduction Underlying the present chapter on collaborative test development is a view of assessment as an integrated and essential aspect of learning and teaching, and thereby a topic of shared interest to teachers and learners. Furthermore,...

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