Sessions / Testing and Evaluation
As more and more EFL programs incorporate oral presentations into their curriculum, the time-consuming nature of presentations where one student presents while the rest of the class listens has necessitated experimentation with alternative formats in presentation procedures and assessment. Peer assessment is one way to help offset this downtime. As well as providing more formative feedback to the students, it is beneficial in focusing attention on those skills needed for making a presentation successful. This presentation will present the findings of a study examining the perceptions of Japanese university EFL students towards peer assessment of oral presentations. Quantitative data was obtained through the use of a survey adapted from Fazel (2015) administered two times to the same set of students; after one semester of instruction (n=19) and at the conclusion of the second semester (n=17). Additional qualitative data will be analyzed in the form of written comments provided by the students. Not surprisingly, the results indicate that the increased exposure allowed the students to developed stronger opinions as to the benefits of peer assessment in the oral presentation classroom. The findings will be discussed as well as considerations offered for future research.
Peer feedback within writing instruction can help L2 writers understand the needs of readers. This presentation details a novel use of Rasch measurement and an anonymized judging plan to enhance qualitative and quantitative feedback for L2 learners in a writing course. While typically used for research purposes, these tools are used here by a writing instructor and the procedure is kept simple for the students. The presentation provides the conceptual backing for design choices, a general overview of the procedure, and the results of an initial trial run with 16 high-proficiency learners of English. Anonymity is used to create a space for learners to give constructive feedback. A judging plan allows for varied sources of qualitative comments for each essay. Together with Rasch measurement, it also allows for group-wide measures of both rating behavior and the rated essays without asking students to rate all writing samples from a class. The primary aim is to illicit diverging forms of feedback that require each learner to make interpretations. Finally, the learners write reflection papers on the experience. This peer evaluation design ensures privacy, diverse forms of feedback, reliable scoring, and manageable workloads. An exit survey from the trial run indicated that unique insights emerged for the participants about how different readers can receive writing in different ways.