Edited By Dina Tsagari and Ildikó Csépes
Slobodanka Dimova: Matura’s Rocky Road to Success: Coping with Test Validity Issues
143 Matura’s Rocky Road to Success: Coping with Test Validity Issues Slobodanka Dimova1 East Carolina University As part of the educational reform, the Macedonian Ministry of Education and Science have implemented Matura, a national secondary school matriculation examination. However, the implementation of Matura has provoked student protests and teacher resistance. Students were worried about the consequences of failing the exam, and teachers feared losing their jobs. This chapter focuses on the impact of the EFL exam, which is part of Matura. In particular, it investigates the exam’s intended and emerging influence on instruction, and stakeholders’ exam perceptions. Data were gathered through teacher and student surveys. Results suggest that ineffective collaboration between the stakeholders at every stage of the testing process has resulted in implementation problems. Key words: national examination, EFL exams, test impact, education innovation 1. Introduction According to research trends in language testing and assessment, tests and exams gain improved validity if dynamic collaboration is established among all stakeholders in the testing process (e.g., testing institutions, administrators, teachers, students, parents). Through effective collaboration, teachers, students, and parents familiarize themselves with the projected goals and uses of the test, and test designers become cognizant of the problems teachers and students encounter during instruction and test preparation. Such collaboration also helps testers understand different stakeholders’ attitudes and opinions, as well as plan the following stages of the test implementation and the educational reform. Collaboration with stakeholders may become critical when new tests are introduced with the purpose of bringing about curriculum...
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