Philip Godber, UTS Insearch
Assessing Writing: Is the ship watertight?

The recent TEQSA guidelines for universities and other higher education providers require those involved in direct entry ELICOS arrangements to ‘satisfy’ themselves that the students they receive through this pipeline ‘have the English proficiency they need to succeed’ (TEQSA 2019). The guidelines reinforce the responsibility of UECA centres for their assessment standards not only to TEQSA, under ELICOS Standard P4, but also to the recipients of their direct entry students.

With a focus on formal mechanisms of assessing writing, such as criteria and moderation to achieve rater reliability, this presentation looks at some of the basic steps UTS Insearch has taken to reliably assess the academic writing ability of its direct entry students and verify its exit standards. It also considers issues that challenge this reliability and measures Insearch is taking to address these challenges.

Philip Godber has 35 years’ experience in the English Language Teaching industry, in Australia and Hong Kong.

He began teaching EAP at Insearch in 1994 and worked on the first Direct Entry program to UTS in 1997. More recently, he was Senior Editor of the Academic English curriculum project and curriculum review project at UTS Insearch.

Currently the ELT Curriculum Officer at UTS Insearch, Philip is responsible for test writing, analysis and validation, and for the maintenance of the Academic English Program delivered in Sydney and at overseas centres in China, Nepal, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia and South Korea.