'The role of assessment in society'

Series Name Lunchtime Lectures
Speaker Nathaniel Owen
Type Lectures & Talks
When 05 Jun 2015, 12:00PM - 01:00PM
Venue Leicester Adult Education College, 2 Wellington St, Leicester City Centre
Open To Public
Ticket Price Free
For Bookings Contact Ralitsa Kantcheva, 0116 294 4685

Assessment plays a crucial role in society. There are two main purposes of assessment: to make claims about test takers’ proficiency in some area of competence, or for gatekeepers to make decisions about individual test takers with respect to membership of a professional or academic community. When we research examinations and the examination system, we focus on the key concepts of ‘validity’ and ‘reliability’. Validity refers to the extent to which the claims that we make about test takers are justifiable on the basis of the evidence we have collected about them. Reliability refers to the consistency of decision-making, both for individuals and test-taking populations. We accept that there can never be a ‘perfect test’, whilst striving for a situation in which we can claim that test developers and administrators are behaving fairly and that all test takers are treated equally at the point of assessment.

In this lecture, Nathaniel Owen, a postgraduate researcher form the School of Education, will talk about the various uses of IELTS and TOEFL English language tests and how these uses are justified in terms of the concepts of equitability and fairness; concepts which underpin the very idea of assessment. This lecture represents the wider interests of the author, who is researching the comparability of IELTS and TOEFL and how test users (individuals or organisations who need to make decisions about people) can determine whether either is ‘fit for purpose’ in their given context.

The Lunchtime Lecture series takes place Fridays, 12-1pm at the Leicester Adult Education College, located at 2 Wellington St, near the city end of New Walk. The lectures are delivered by current University of Leicester postgraduates and are open to the public, so there is no need to book, just come along on the day.

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