Volume 5 Issue 1-2 (2016)

Students’ Perceptions of Language Testing and Assessment in Higher Education

pp. 66-77  |  Published Online: December 2016  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2016.512.6

Reyhan Agcam, M. Pinar Babanoglu


Assessment is any of a variety of procedures used to obtain information about student performance (Linn & Gronlund, 2000, p. 32). As reported by Pellegrino, Chudowsky, and Glaser (2001), it provides feedback to students, educators, parents, policy makers, and the public about the effectiveness of educational services. Related research on language testing and assessment in foreign language education, which is one of the most controversial issues in Turkey, have been carried out with a focus on perspectives of teachers rather than the students who obviously play the leading role in the process. Hence, the current study is primarily motivated to explore the perceptions of students on foreign language assessment in higher education in Turkey. A total of 103 undergraduate students attending an English Language Preparatory Program at a state university in Turkey took part in the study. They were assigned a questionnaire consisting of open- and closed-ended items to reveal their perceptions on the applications of language assessment in higher education (e.g. core language skills, assessment types employed in testing foreign language development, and types of questions used in the tests throughout an academic year). The findings have demonstrated that most participants found assessment necessary in their foreign language education, and that speaking and listening are considered the most important skills, while grammar and reading are regarded as the least important. As for question types, Selected Response Items (e.g. Matching, MC, Odd-one-out, and T-F) have revealed the most-favored by students in comparison to the Constructed Response Items (e.g. Sentence Completion, Wh- Questions, and etc.) and Personal Response items (e.g. writing a paragraph), which might be attributed to the less challenging and demanding structure of the selected response items. The study concludes with a few pedagogical implications on language assessment in higher education, and suggestions for further directions. 

Keywords: EFL, testing, assessment, higher education


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