Ryan Peters, RMIT Training
Assessing Reading and Listening in Canvas

Computer-based testing (CBT) offers a number of opportunities to enhance assessment practices in language-based courses, such as more efficient and detailed feedback for students, teachers and study support, a richer set of media inputs, a wider range of question types, and the promotion of a more authentic interaction between students and assessment tasks. Having increasing numbers of students bringing devices to school will ultimately reduce the obstructive need for dedicated computer labs for invigilated testing. Additionally, as native quiz applications in LMS platforms become more sophisticated and user-friendly, there is a corresponding reduction in the skill gap between assessment developers and IT specialists.

Most CBT authoring tools do not always cater for some of the unique ‘must haves’ in language assessment. Such requirements include the need to limit student access to audio controls in listening tests, and to provide students with easy access to reading texts alongside related test questions. Such challenges are not insurmountable.

RMIT Training has recently embarked on a project which aims to transition as many language assessments as appropriate and practicable into CBT delivery. As RMIT Training uses Canvas as its LMS, Canvas Quizzes is currently the preferred method of delivery. This presentation summarises the rationale for CBT, identifies some moments in the development journey, demonstrates an example of a formative Reading and Listening quiz complete with results analysis, and finally discusses the ways we plan to implement a secure and valid CBT delivery system.

Ryan Peters is a senior assessment developer at RMIT Training. His work spans assessment for RMIT Training’s direct-entry ELICOS program, its Foundation Studies program, and its aviation language proficiency test. He holds an M.A. in Applied Linguistics (TESOL) from Macquarie University and a B.A. in Commerce from Monash University. His experience includes IELTS examining (speaking and writing), V.C.E. examination review, and over thirteen years of English teaching at various universities and government departments overseas. His research interests include test validation, computer-based testing and receptive skill assessment design.