Amal Khabbaz, Monash College
Collecting and responding to assessment feedback: Why it’s important, how to do it, and what impact it has

Language test development is a cyclical activity that is richly informed by information generated once an assessment tool is operationalised (McNamara, 2000). One type of information that should be used for the evaluation and further development of testing tools is feedback from stakeholders including test-takers’ teachers (who often also represent their students’ concerns) and test invigilators. Doing so can contribute not only to the betterment of the tool in terms of accuracy, efficiency, construct-relevance and course-reflectivity, but also plays an important role in increasing face validity among stakeholders and in raising assessment literacy. In addition, the collection and consideration of feedback from test stakeholders fits well within the understanding of language testing as a social and ethical practice and concerns therein including accountability, washback and test impact (McNamara, 2000). With the above understanding of assessment development and the view of language testing as a social practice in mind, this presentation will introduce the process that is currently successfully in place for the collection, consideration, address and communication of feedback from test stakeholders at Monash University English Language Centre. The presentation will start by explaining why this process is important with respect to the theoretical framework above. Then, the audience will learn the steps of the process, including the online-based methods used for the collation of feedback, decision-making, and communication to stakeholders. Particular focus will be given to the triangulated approach used for decision-making that integrates consultation, performance data and expert judgement, and audience members will have the opportunity to consider and respond to real-life examples of feedback.

Amal Khabbaz is Assessment Developer at Monash University English Language Centre in Melbourne where she supports best practice in assessment for direct-entry ELICOS courses. Throughout her 14-year career as a language teacher in Australia, France and Mexico, she has gained notable experience in assessment development, curriculum design, independent learning support, action research and professional development facilitation. She has been an examiner and item writer for a number of English language tests. She holds a Master of Applied Linguistics from the University of Melbourne.