Seminal paper scoops award for education experts

Posted by pt91 at Jun 08, 2011 04:35 PM |
What do architects and language test designers have in common? A great deal, according to the University of Leicester’s Dr Glenn Fulcher and a colleague from the University of Illinois.

Dr Fulcher, Reader in the School of Education, and Professor Fred Davidson of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have won this year’s Best Paper Award from the International Language Testing Association (ILTA) for their 2009 article Test architecture, test retrofit which appeared in the top rated journal Language Testing.

Dr Fulcher and Professor Davidson have had a long research collaboration together, working in the field of educational assessment and language testing. In 2007 their book Language Testing and Assessment was published by Routledge, and has already become established as a standard text in the field.

Their continuing research has been concerned with the design of tests and assessments in relation to their intended use, including policy issues such as the role of language tests in immigration policy.

Described as "seminal", 'Test architecture, test retrofit' likens the design of language tests to the design of a building; tests that are ‘retrofitted’ after they are put into operation are in danger of undermining their original purpose unless the changes are well communicated. Much like knocking a kitchen-diner together and destroying a ceiling support in the process.

The President of the International Language Testing Association, Professor John Read of the University of Auckland, will present Dr Fulcher and Professor Davidson with a cheque and a plaque in at the annual Language Testing Research Colloquium, which is being held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor from 23-25 June.