Olena Rossi will lead an EALTA pre-conference workshop on May 31-June 2 in Budapest

Dr. Olena Rossi, together with Dr. John Pill, will lead a pre-conference workshop at the EALTA 2022 conference help in Budapest in May-June this year.

Workshop dates: May 31 – June 2 2022, Budapest, Hungary

Workshop title: Applying the test development cycle to create test tasks for your teaching context: From theory to practice

This interactive workshop will provide a framework to manage test-task development in participants’ teaching contexts. Participants will be introduced to underlying principles and gain hands-on experience. They will consider language-in-use items and tasks to measure receptive skills – exemplified through producing a reading task – and productive skills – exemplified though producing speaking prompts. They will discuss the use of test specifications and techniques for reviewing test items and improving item quality. The target audience is practicing language teachers with test development responsibilities.

The attendance is limited to 25 participants.

Registration – €90; follow this link to register

Olena Rossi will present a paper on item writing at the EALTA conference, 3-5 June 2022 in Budapest

Paper presentation: Fostering collaboration among novice item writers in the digital age: Developing an online community of practice in item-writing training

Item writers are key stakeholders in the test development process as they produce test content. The importance of item-writer collaboration in producing high-quality items is acknowledged in the literature (Constantinou et al., 2018; Ho, 2019). Modern-day item-writer collaboration should reflect the characteristics and demands of the digital age. Surprisingly, the role of item-writing training in fostering online item-writer collaboration has never been empirically investigated. The study reported in this presentation aims to address this research gap.

The presentation reports on a mixed-methods quasi-experimental study that investigated a 3-month induction item-writing training course delivered fully online. Twenty-five trainees produced three types of items at the beginning and at the end of the training. The quality of items was evaluated by expert item reviewers against an evaluation scale; interviews were conducted with 17 willing participants upon completion of each assignment, and participants’ reactions to the course were collected via four feedback questionnaires administered throughout the course.

The training was found beneficial for the trainees with the overall item quality improved post-training. The course features that involved trainees in collaborative online learning – such as group discussions, collaborative item writing, peer-feedback – received high evaluations from the trainees. This presentation provides a novel conceptualization of item-writing training as legitimate peripheral participation in item-writers’ community of practice – the concept proposed by Lave and Wenger (1991). From the practical perspective, recommendations are made for fostering item-writer trainee collaboration within the digital training environment.