Experience of Applying Computer-Aided Testing in English Classes
- National Technical University “Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute”, Ukraine
Background and aim of study:
In their teaching practice, English teachers now have plenty of computer technologies and devices available to facilitate their activity. We want to concentrate mainly on the computerassisted testing devices for university students for several reasons. First, online tests deprive an English teacher of the exhausting routine of marking hundreds of paper tests. Second, even if the teacher uses ready-made online tests, they do not always match the purpose of current learning. That is why the aim of our search was to find a rather powerful online testing tool which can be easily mastered by non-professional computer users and run on any digital devices.
Out of the whole range of possibilities we have chosen GoogleForms with its Quiz tool. Using this instrument the teacher can create various types of tests: multiple choice; matching; open-ended tasks; writing tasks. Analysis of the testing procedure, observation, discussion of the results with teachers and students involved in the experiment helped to determine the most effective ways to organize the testing.
Nine tests comprising different tasks were created using GoogleForms and more than 100 students of National Technical University “KhPI” who study English as a second language have been tested. Five teachers of English took part in the experiment. Based on the experience of testing we have drawn some conclusions on the ways to arrange the test tasks and organize the testing process. The tasks tested included several assignments. Listening: The ways to supply students with audio material vary. The recording was included in the Google test itself, stored in GoogleDrive, sent to students by email, and read or played by the teacher in the classroom. The task for listening was given as a set of multiple choice questions. This was agreed to be the most unambiguous type of testing. Vocabulary: The students were expected to fill in the gaps in the text with one of 3 options for each gap. It is advisable to supply the students with a printed copy of the text while the test will contain only the task. Another possibility is to store the text as a separate file in GoogleDrive or send it by email. Reading: Similarly, the text for reading was supplied as mentioned before and the test task consisted of a set of True-False (and Not Given) sentences with two or three option to choose. Communication: The test included a set of matching sentences in the form of dropdown lists which simulate dialogue fragments. Depending on the students’ language proficiency level, the matching lists may contain the same or different number of items. Use of English (Grammar and Vocabulary): This task was set up as multiple choice tasks and as open-ended sentences. The latter appeared to cause some problems and needed additional efforts to check. Writing: The task was specified in detail inside the test and there was a special field for the students to write their answer. Obviously, the teacher should evaluate it manually by pre-set criteria. Nevertheless, being typed, the text is much easier to check compared to handwritings. Speaking: Unfortunately, GoogleForms has no devices to record the user’s speech. So, the possible ways of checking this task are either face-to-face assessment or listening to the recordings made by students and saved, e.g. in GoogleDrive. When the students have completed the quiz, the teacher receives the report in the form of a summary and individual answers with automatically calculated points. Responses summary is an additional bonus for the teacher because it calculates the percentages of correct and wrong answers for each item of the test. This makes an invaluable source for the analysis, feedback and following error treatment in class.
To summarize, GoogleForms provide an easily mastered and powerful tool for creating and checking English tests, which facilitates the teacher’s job.
DOI and UDC:
DOI: 10.26697/ijes.2019.2.10; UDC: 37.09.212.2:811.111
Information about the authors:
Lazareva Olga Yaroslavna – Doctor of Philosophy in Technical Sciences, Associate Professor, Associate Professor of the Department of Foreign Languages, National Technical University “KhPI”, Kharkiv, Ukraine. Kovtun Olena Olexandrivna – Associate Professor of the Department of Foreign languages, National Technical University “KhPI”, Kharkiv, Ukraine.