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An Outline of Washback. Definition Conceptualization of washback Manipulation of washback Empirical studies on washback. Please God may I not fail Please God may I get over sixty percent Please God may I get a high place Please God may all those likely to beat me

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An Outline of Washback


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an outline of washback

An Outline of Washback

Definition

Conceptualization of washback

Manipulation of washback

Empirical studies on washback

slide3
Please God may I not fail

Please God may I get over sixty percent

Please God may I get a high place

Please God may all those likely to beat me

get killed in road accidents and

may they die roaring.

(Shohamy,1994, p.57)

slide4
1. Definition

- Impact

- Washback (backwash)

- Curricular alignment

- Systemic validity

- An instance of consequential aspect of construct validity

slide5
“Washback” is “frequently used to refer to the effects of tests on teaching and learning” whereas “‘impact’ refers to any of the effects that a test may have on individuals, policies or practices, within the classroom, the school, the educational system, or society as a whole” (Wall, 1997:291).
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2. Conceptualization of washback

- Debate over incorporating washback into the concept of validity

Proponents: Opponents:

Messick, Morrow, Popham, Mehrense,

Li Xiaju, Linn Alderson, Davis

“The best way of encouraging adequate consideration of major intended positive effects and plausible unintended negative effects of test use is to recognize the evaluation of such effects as a central aspect of test validation" Linn (1997:16).

“The apparent open-ended offer of consequential validity goes too far. I maintain that it is not possible for a tester as a member of a profession to take account of all possible social consequences" Davis (1997:335).

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Test taking and

use of test score

Impact

Macro: Society,

education system

Micro: Individuals

- The Scope, Pattern, and Mechanisms of Washback

Bachman and Palmer (1996:30)

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Washback hypotheses (Alderson and Wall,1993)

(1) A test will influence teaching.

(2) A test will influence learning.

(3) A test will influence what teachers teach: and

(4) A test will influence how teachers teach; and therefore by extension

from (2) above:

(5) A test will influence what learners learn: and

(6) A test will influence how learners learn.

(7) A test will influence the rate and sequence of teaching: and

(8) A test will influence the rate and sequence of learning.

(9) A test will influence the degree and depth of teaching: and

(10) A test will influence the degree and depth of learning.

(11) A test will influence attitudes to the content, method, etc. of teaching and learning.

(12) Tests that have important consequences will have washback; and conversely

(13) Tests that do not have important consequences will have no washback.

(14) Tests will have washback on all learners and teachers.

(15) Tests will have washback effects for some learners and some teachers, but not for others.

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High-stakes tests are those whose results are seen – rightly or wrongly – by students, teachers, administrators, parents or the general public, as being used to make important decisions that immediately and directly affect them...

In contrast to a high-stakes test,

a low-stakes test is one which is perceived as not having important rewards or sanctions tied directly to test performance.

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3. Manipulation of washback

Test as an agent for change

- The Sri Lanka English test

(lever for change)

- The Hong Kong CEE

(tail wags the dog)

- The NMET

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4 Empirical studies on washback

Approaches

  • The existence of washback (establishing washback)
  • The scope and pattern of washback
  • The quality of washback (positive vs. negative)
  • The intended washback
methods
Methods
  • Interview
  • Classroom observation
  • Questionnaire survey
  • Analysis of documents
findings
Findings
  • Causal relationship established (baseline data and follow-up data)
  • Test effects on different aspect of education and teaching/learning
  • Positive vs. negative effects
  • Intended effects failing to occur
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An example of the study on the intended washback of a high-stakes test

The Intended Washback Effect of the National Matriculation English Test in China: Intentions and Reality