Should independent learning be directed, free, or somewhere in between? How much do you need to advise, and how much feedback should you expect? This is partly a question of maximising learning potential for students, and partly a matter of control for teachers — but wherever you stand on the spectrum, there is some information which you really do need to access. At an absolute minimum, you need to know whether the online resources you are paying are actually being used.
When Clarity and telc first conceptualised the Dynamic Placement Test, a key objective was to devise a democratic test — a computer-based level test available to schools whatever their digital setup. At the same time, we didn’t want to compromise on the technology: it needed to be a test that went well beyond multiple choice questions and gap fills. So within these constraints, the team prioritised three areas.
What is Clarity's policy for supporting and replacing Flash-based programs?
Can a test run on a student’s device ever be secure? What’s to stop a test taker looking up the answers on the Internet? What, in fact, does ‘secure’ mean in the context of a placement test?
This month, we look at two examples of how modestly-funded, locally sensitive projects can start to bridge the technology gap in East Africa.
Sean McDonald of telc catches up with Adrian Raper at the IATEFL Conference in Glasgow. He discusses his philosophy of testing, and the steady move from paper-based exams towards digital language assessment.
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) was originally developed for Europe, but the ‘can do’ statements have global application. After all, the ability to ‘understand simple technical information, such as operating instructions for everyday equipment’ or to ‘understand short, simple texts on familiar matters’ is relevant worldwide. Could it not therefore be renamed the Global Framework of Reference for Languages? Read more
Children in Northern Ireland start school at the age of four; in the Irish republic it’s six. And in much of Europe, it’s seven. Does an early start lead to better outcomes? David Whitebread explains why children may need more time to develop before their formal education begins in earnest.