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Self-efficacy will help them succeed throughout their life, both professionally and personally. With an AFL approach, teachers give learners task-specific feedback that focuses on the work rather than ego-specific feedback that focuses on personal qualities of the learner. This encourages every learner to feel that they can improve.

AFL techniques, such as peer feedback, can help more able learners to reinforce their learning by explaining ideas to less able classmates. Furthermore, peer feedback helps learners to develop diplomacy and communication skills that will be essential in many aspects of later life. AFL increases independence AFL enables learners to become less passive in the classroom, especially when combined with other methods that promote this type of approach, such as active learning techniques. Students will develop the ability to assess themselves and to take responsibility for their own learning.

This supports the development of the Cambridge learner attributes which says that Cambridge learners are confident, responsible, reflective, innovative and engaged. An AFL approach also helps students to become enthusiastic life-long learners. AFL also helps teachers. When students are taking a more active role in their learning, teachers have more time to talk to them individually.

In addition, teachers have more time to reflect on what is going well in their lesson and what can be improved.

AFL changes the culture of the classroom Carol Dweck argues that high-achieving learners avoid taking risks because they are afraid of making mistakes. This reduces the amount they can learn. An AFL approach helps to create a supportive and cooperative classroom. In this environment, everyone, including the teacher, should feel able to try new things without worrying that they might fail.

If the teacher presents mistakes as an opportunity for learning, this will help every student to reach their full potential. Students will start to see that by learning from failure, they can improve outcomes in the future. Summary In this video, teacher trainer James Woodworth discusses some of the benefits of using AFL strategies in the classroom. This includes formal testing. However, a teacher will use a variety of formal and informal assessment activities throughout the learning process.

Information from these assessment activities is used to adapt teaching and learning approaches, which leads to improvements in learner outcomes. This will naturally involve some talking and, therefore, some noise. However, the teacher remains in control. The teacher decides when to let the class talk and when to ask them to be quiet.

The more learners engage with, and think deeply about, the success criteria , the more they are able to give useful feedback to their peers. Assessment for learning gives teachers more information throughout the year. One of the results of an AFL approach is that it helps students to do better in summative assessment. The two are linked and both inform future learning. For example, through self-assessment learners can identify what they need help with and then discuss this with their teacher.

However, research suggests that learners will often just read the grade and ignore the comments. Where teachers want to give a grade, it is often more effective for learners to read feedback and comments first, and then edit their work before they see a grade. AFL mainly focuses on the use of informal formative assessment to improve learning. Although teachers and learners can also learn from their work in formal summative test papers, this is not the main emphasis of AFL.

Training and time Introducing AFL into a school or classroom takes time. It sometimes requires additional professional training, and it changes to the ways that teachers interact with their learners. Fear of change Teachers and learners may fear that the changes required in their classroom practice will not help them.

High-achieving and diligent learners may find it hard to look for faults and mistakes in their work and thinking. They may feel that they do not want to show any sign of weakness or failure. Getting it right Giving feedback to learners about their work can have a negative effect as well as positive.

A teacher must choose their words carefully when giving feedback. If the teacher gives the impression that only the teachers can provide the right answer, learners will find it hard to be independent. Culture Sometimes teachers are judged solely on their ability to get good results in high-stakes summative assessments. Teachers may feel that they do not have time to do activities that do not seem directly linked to final examination grades.


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However, using feedback to modify instruction and help learners to better understand assessment objectives will improve exam results. In this thought-provoking article , Carol Dweck discusses the effect of praise on learners. This article by Hattie and Timperley reviews educational research on feedback. AFL emphasises the creation of a learner-centred classroom with a supportive atmosphere, where students are not afraid to make mistakes and learn from them.

We are going to look at five approaches or strategies that you can use in a lesson or programme of study. Questioning Questions are a quick and important way of finding out what your learner understands about a subject. You can use this information to plan their teaching. A closed question requires a short answer, such as remembering a fact. The answer is usually right or wrong. On average, teachers only wait 0.

Getting started with Assessment for Learning

This immediately gives you feedback about who understands, who does not, and therefore what the next steps in the learning might be. A good strategy to use if a learner gets the answer wrong is to make this into a positive event. In an AFL classroom, finding out what learners do not know is as valuable as finding out what they do know.

This knowledge will help you to see what material your learners need to spend extra time on to make sure that they all understand. Open questions need longer answers, and often require the learner to provide an opinion. Explain how this relates to the study of voltage, current and resistance in a simple electric circuit. Open questions like this allow all learners to try to answer the question and be part of a discussion. If you discuss ideas with your learners, you can get a clearer view of what understanding your learners have about a topic, and put right any misunderstandings.

Reflection Watch the video of a teacher talking about how he uses questioning. Do you use any of these techniques in your own classroom? This video shows good use of closed questioning. How would you adapt this for your own classroom? Feedback Feedback is the process in which learners come together with their teachers to discuss where they are in their learning, where they want to be in their learning, and how they are going to get there. It usually involves looking at a particular piece of work done by the learner.

The aims and objectives of any assignment must be clearly understood by both the teacher and the learner. Feedback might involve marking. If you do want to add a grade, give this later on, so that the learners read the comments before they receive the grade. Effective feedback depends on task-focused comments, rather than ego-focused comments. They might also be scared of trying something they find difficult in case they lose their high place.

Weak learners can feel as if there is nothing they can do to get better. You should aim to provide feedback to each learner that praises task-focused aspects of their work, but also contains targets about how to improve their learning. Now, can you think how you can make the description of the main character more striking? Reflection Think about a time when you gave feedback to a learner that could be described as more ego-specific than task specific.

What might you have done differently?


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  6. In this video, Dylan Wiliam explains why task-focused feedback is more effective than ego-focused feedback. In this handout, by the RAPPS project, you will find lots of suggestions for different ways of giving classroom feedback. This feedback is based on an understanding of what makes a successful piece of work. The teacher is vital to this process, as teachers know their learners and can help them to develop their critical and reflective thinking skills.

    Giving learners independence is a great way for them to take responsibility for their own learning. Peer feedback also helps learners to develop their social skills and to use higher-level skills such as thinking critically and analytically. A successful peer feedback session requires learners to 'think like a teacher' for each other. The learner then has to give their partner ideas for how to improve the work. In doing this, they will both be increasing their own understanding of what makes a successful piece of work. For example, learners could use pictures to describe positive and negative aspects of the work.

    Reflection Watch the video of learners taking part in a peer feedback session. Notice how independently they are working. Would this be effective for your learners? In this video, learners explain what they like about peer feedback. Learning cannot be done for them by the teachers. In self-assessment a learner evaluates their own work, and thinks about their own learning. This helps them to make sense of what the teacher says, relate it to previous learning and use this for new learning.

    Ultimately, self-assessment enables learners to set their own learning goals and be responsible for their own learning. However, be aware that learners cannot become reflective learners overnight. It takes time and practice to develop these skills, and the role of the teacher is crucial in encouraging this.

    Introducing learners to self-assessment When you introduce self-assessment to your learners, carefully guide the process. To start with, give learners a list of questions to ask themselves, and write down the answers. Ideally, you will talk to each of your learners individually to guide their thinking until they feel comfortable with the process.

    Self-assessment is an activity which requires one-to-one tutorials to be fully successful. In these short sessions, you can ask questions to help your learners to reflect on their studies. Having thought about how their work could be improved, your learners can then set themselves targets to make their work better. These targets can cover any aspect of learning, from time management to asking more questions in class if they do not understand something. However, learners often have to take summative school tests such as end-of-year exams or final exams. Return marked test or exam papers to learners, so that they can spend time understanding where they earned most marks and where they had misunderstandings.

    After the exam or test, find out which questions were answered less well by most learners. This will give you important information about what subjects, ideas and skills your learners need to work on. You can then focus on explaining the areas of the syllabus that gave problems to most learners. Your learners could also re-work exam questions in class in pairs or groups as a peer-learning activity. How effectively am I using questioning? It is a good idea to structure questions so that learners give detailed answers, revealing exactly what they understand about a subject.

    Try waiting for at least three seconds after asking a question to get better responses from your learners. How effective is my use of feedback? Giving your learners task-focused feedback instead of ego-focused feedback can help your learners to feel motivated to try harder with their work. How effective is my use of peer feedback?

    Encourage an atmosphere of mutual supportiveness in your classroom. It is helpful to explain to your learners why peer feedback is being used and how they are going to benefit from it. It is a good idea to start a peer feedback session with an in-depth discussion of success criteria. At the time of the study, they had taken the class on advanced writing skills and had the competence to be able to write an essay.

    Raters included 14 7 male and 7 female experienced writing teachers with 15 to 30 years of teaching experience and considerable experience in scoring exams. All these raters were EFL teachers who were required to rate writing samples as part of their teaching activity. They came from the same linguistic background and were proficient non-native speakers of English. A rater training session was held to explain the rating purposes and procedures and to increase rating accuracy and rater agreement; through this session common rating problems were discussed to avoid rating bias.

    In this session, the raters were given a packet including two writing rubrics, writing prompts and 60 writing samples. Fourteen raters scored 30 EFL essays based on integrated rubric and another 30 essays based on an independent rubric. Each rater scored the essays independently only once. Two rubrics were employed to rate the writing samples: one for the independent task and one for the integrated task. The response to the integrated and independent tasks for both the Academic and General Training Modules was scored based on the following dimensions:.

    The scripts consisted of 60 essays written by the 30 essay writers each essay writer completed 2 tasks in response to an independent task and an integrated, timed writing task. One of the selected prompts was used to represent the independent category and the other prompt was used with the integrated task McCarter, , see the appendix. Required instructions related to how essay writers should use the source text were presented in integrated task, a table which summarized the required information was presented as the source text.

    The samples were collected on two occasions of mid-term and final exam. On each occasion, the assignment and the instructions were standard for all essay writers. They had to spend 20 minutes for Task 1 and 40 minutes for Task 2. A group of 30 students completed the integrated and independent tasks as their mid-term and final exams, respectively. Besides, they were asked to write at least words. In writing task 2, the independent task, the essay writers were given a topic to write about. They were asked to provide a full and relevant response.

    University Press of Colorado - Assessing the Teaching of Writing

    They had 40 minutes to write at least words on this task. G-theory analysis was used to examine the effect of tasks, raters, and gender. Sixty samples of writing from 30 TEFL students were obtained in the condition mentioned above. Each sample was scored by 14 male and female trained raters. In this design, the essay writers were considered as crossed by raters.

    The number of essay writers and raters were constant. Therefore, this study also extended the principles of G-theory to balanced designs. The study considered both relative and absolute decisions which helped the researcher to rank the essay writers relative to each other and to make decisions about their standing in relation to a standard of performance. Descriptive statistics is provided in Table 1, including number N , mean, and Std. Deviation for the total scores assigned to the integrated and independent tasks by raters.

    Table 1. The highest and lowest mean scores on the integrated task are related to Rater 8 and Rater14, while the highest and lowest mean scores on the independent task are related to Rater 8 and Rater 4, respectively. Table 2 reports the mean scores assigned by male and female raters, for both independent and integrated tasks. Table 2. The following table presents the variance components for both male and female raters.

    There are seven different variance components based on the study design, including: persons P , raters R , tasks T , person-by-rater PR , person-by-task PT , rater-by-task RT , and the triple interaction of persons, tasks, and raters PTR. The G-study results showed that variance component of universe score in female group, e. It is possible that each rater differently scored persons in each task. The estimated variance of the task mean scores for male raters was 0, and for the female raters was less than 1, which suggest that there was not any difference in difficulty for the tasks according to scores assigned by male raters and this variance was not remarkable in female group.

    The second largest variance component is related to the persons P for male and PRT for female raters. The third largest variance component is PR for male raters and P for female raters. However, the variance of persons P for the male raters is larger than for female raters. This finding indicates that more variability exists among the essay writers with respect to their writing proficiency scores assigned by male raters. The component of person-by-rater PR effect is the third largest variance for male raters and the fourth one for the female raters.

    This relatively large value suggests that the rank ordering of essay writers differs by raters to a considerable degree Brennan et al. Interpretation of the variance component from the interactions is more complex; the largest variance component among the seven values is the triple interaction of persons, raters and tasks PTR for male raters This finding indicates that the essay writers were rank-ordered across different tasks by rater pairs differently.

    This section centers on D-studies which employ different combinations of male and female raters. Different D-studies including different numbers of male and female raters will be suggested in the following section to identify how increasing the number of male and female raters with two task types integrated and independent tasks affects measurement precision. Because, in practice, in testing situation 3 or 4 raters are used, that is why D-studies in the present study are not used more than 4 raters. D-study uses variance components produced in the G-study to design a measurement procedure that is of lower the measurement error Bachman, From this analysis, the absolute error variance, the relative error variance, the generalizability coefficient, and the phi coefficient were calculated to provide a clear picture of score reliability across different D-studies.

    G-theory can make a distinction between error variances coming from absolute decisions and relative decisions. Absolute error variance is particularly used in criterion-referenced interpretations. All sources except for the object of measurement are considered a source of error in case of absolute decisions Strube, It is also clear from Table 4 that increasing the number of raters leads to absolute error variance reduction. The most notable decrease happened when the number of raters increased from one rater to two raters.

    This means a substantial reduction in error coming from just increasing the number of raters from one to two raters. The relative error variance is useful when the primary concern of researchers is in making norm-referenced decisions that involve the rank ordering of individuals. The findings indicated that the relative error variance for female raters is higher than the relative error variance for male raters.

    As Table 5 signifies, the relative error variance of having one male rater is 0. Furthermore, the results indicate that the relative error variance of the female raters is consistently greater than that of the male raters across all 4 D-studies. It should be added that increasing the number of male and female raters from one to two considerably reduced the amount of relative error variance.

    Figure 2 reveals that increasing the number of raters from two to three and from three to four caused the relative error variance to decrease, but this increase was not as considerable as having two raters. The most substantial reduction in error variance happened in case of one male or one female rater and two tasks, 0.

    It is the indicator of the dependability of a measurement procedure; this index is equivalent to reliability coefficient in the CTT Brennan, a. It signifies the ratio of universe score variance to both the universe score variance and the relative error variance.

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    It ranges from 0 to 1; the higher the values the more dependable measurement procedures are. The results of the present study indicate that generalizability coefficients of the male raters were relatively higher in all the D-studies than the female raters. According to Table 6, the generalizability coefficient for four male raters and two tasks was 0. These values decreased to 0. The generalizability coefficient of the male raters increased 0. Based on Table 7, the male raters have relatively higher phi coefficients in all the D-studies compared to female raters.

    For instance, the phi coefficient for one male rater and two tasks was 0. The phi coefficient was low for both genders, it may be due to low score generalizability of performance assessment such as writing task Gebril, Increasing the number of raters from one to four leads to increasing phi coefficient. As Figure 4 shows, the highest phi coefficient is related to four raters and two tasks in each gender 0. Besides, the highest increase in the phi coefficient from 0. The results revealed that the mean score of the independent task was slightly higher than that of the integrated task and the mean scores of the female raters were higher than those of the male raters.

    The purpose was not to compare both task types; besides, it cannot be stated that the participants outperformed on independent task. For example, Lewkowicz reported no significant difference in the scores of independent and integrated writing tasks. In another study, Gebril used two different scoring rubrics to compare the performance of EFL students on independent and integrated writing tasks and reported a high correlation between the two sets of scores.

    However, opposite results have also been reported; for example, performing Pearson coefficient analysis on the scores of independent and integrated writing tasks, Delaney found that the independent scores were not significantly correlated with those of integrated writing task. The descriptive statistics indicated that the integrated task had a higher variance compared to the independent task. In rating integrated task the raters were required to judge about using the source text.

    As pinpointed in methodology section, the essay writers were selected from a homogeneous group; meaning that due to the writing courses they had passed, they were also at the same level of writing ability. The findings also revealed that the person-by-task PT variance component was very low. The relatively low value suggests that either the rank ordering of task difficulty is the same for the various examinees, or that the rank ordering of examinees was the same by task to a substantial degree. Besides, Rater effect R was also high in both male and female groups which is accounted for the first highest variability among the female raters and the third highest variability among male raters.


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    This findings lends support to the fact that the rater facet contributes to score variability. This high variance could be because of several factors, such as the number of raters contributing in the present study. The task T effect variability does not account for any of the variance in male group and the lowest variability in female group. This result indicates that both tasks had equal difficulty for essay writers.

    As Figure 1 and Figure 2 show, both the relative and absolute error coefficients decreased substantially by increasing the number of male and female raters. Based on the results, when the number of male and female raters increased from one to two, the error decreased to a large extent. This result lends support to other generalizability studies Brennan et al. Although increasing the number of raters to more than two brought about in smaller error coefficients, the improvement from one rater to two raters for both male and female raters is the most substantial one.

    The univariate analysis, as depicted in Figure 3 and Figure 4, provide evidence that the male raters are much more consistent and much more reliable than the female raters in both the norm-referenced and criterion-referenced score interpretation contexts, meaning that, in both of these contexts, the male raters were much more consistent and reliable than the female raters.

    Follow up interviews or implementation of think-aloud protocols seem to be required to add additional details about what male and female raters considered during rating writing samples. In sum, the current study attempted to investigate the score generalizability of independent and integrated writing tasks rated by male and female raters.

    Results showed that both male and female raters yielded reliable scores. However, caution is warranted when interpreting the writing assignment results. The findings provide support for the fact that under proper conditions and by employing appropriate study designs, very high levels of reliability can be attained in grading writing samples. The results can provide a number of important implications.

    One of the important implications is that the raters could participate in both independent and integrated writing tasks scoring regardless of their gender since they could rate the task with the same score reliability. Furthermore, the present research findings specified that the number of raters has an important role in the score generalizability of writing ability.

    The most significant increase in the reliability of scores resulted from increasing the number of raters from one to two. However, the decision to increase the number of raters is determined by the available resources; the ideal situation is to participate the more experienced raters and holding rater training sessions rather than just increasing the number of raters.

    Some limitations of the current study should be considered when interpreting the results. First, the estimates computed for this study may be useful to persons working with Iranian EFL students of similar characteristics.

    What if the components of a course are misaligned?

    Since the writing tasks were written by L2 essay writers whose first language is Persian, the results may not be generalizable to other language groups. Besides; the raters had also the same first language as the test takers; it is useful to participate native English language raters with L2 writing scoring experience. An additional limitation of this study is introduced by the small number of conditions sampled within each facet.

    As the number of degrees of freedom increases, the accuracy of the estimate increases, too. A qualitative measure of writing ability was not included. Finally, only two writing tasks were used in this study, and increasing tasks number from one to two was not scrutinized; may be increasing the number of tasks besides increasing the number of raters provides a clearer picture of the different variance components.

    The authors would like to show their gratitude to Dr Robert Brennan, director of the center for advanced studies in measurement and assessment CASMA in the college of education of the University of Iowa, for technical assistance with data analysis and for providing insight and expertise that greatly assisted the research. Integrated writing task. The table below shows the percentage of the rooms occupied in six hotels during May to September between and The table also indicates the star rating of each hotel. Independent writing task. Present a written argument to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following topic:.

    Nowadays in countries like Russia some people try to find their matches for marriage through the internet. While some of these relationships have been reported to have happy endings, traditional marriages are more dependent and stable. Use your own idea, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence. Sheibani, R. Applied Research on English Language , 6 4 , Rahil Sheibani; Alireza Ahmadi. Applied Research on English Language , 6, 4, , Applied Research on English Language , ; 6 4 : Toggle navigation. The score reliability of language performance tests has attracted increasing interest.

    Classical Test Theory cannot examine multiple sources of measurement error. Generalizability theory extends Classical Test Theory to provide a practical framework to identify and estimate multiple factors contributing to the total variance of measurement. Generalizability theory by using analysis of variance divides variances into their corresponding sources, and finds their interactions.

    Thirty Iranian university students participated in the study. They were asked to write on an independent task and an integrated task. The essays were holistically scored by 14 raters. A rater training session was held prior to scoring the writing samples. Large rater variance component revealed the low score generalizability in case of using one rater. The implications of the results in the educational assessment are elaborated. Full Text. Introduction Writing fluently and expressively is a difficult ability to acquire for all language users.

    Describe the theory of change

    Research Questions Specifically, the following research questions guided this research: 1. Method Participants Thirty Iranian university students participated in this study. Raters and Rating Raters included 14 7 male and 7 female experienced writing teachers with 15 to 30 years of teaching experience and considerable experience in scoring exams. Instruments The scripts consisted of 60 essays written by the 30 essay writers each essay writer completed 2 tasks in response to an independent task and an integrated, timed writing task.

    Data Collection Procedure A group of 30 students completed the integrated and independent tasks as their mid-term and final exams, respectively. Data Analysis Procedure G-theory analysis was used to examine the effect of tasks, raters, and gender. Results Descriptive statistics is provided in Table 1, including number N , mean, and Std. Deviation Mean Std. Deviation Rater 1 male 5.

    Integrated task Independent task Gender Mean Std. Deviation Male 5. Raters Male Female Amount of decrease 1 0. Raters Male Female Amount of increase 1 0. Alkharusi, H. Generalizability theory: An analysis of variance approach to measurement problems in educational assessment. Journal of Studies in Education , 2 1 , Allal, L. Generalizability theory.

    Keeres Ed. Cambridge, United Kindom: Cambridge University. Anatol, T. West Indian Medical Journal, 58 1 , Bachman, L. Fundamental considerations in language testing. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Statistical analyses for language assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Barkaoui, K.

    Canada: University of Toronto. A mixed-methods, cross-sectional study.