Validating LanguEdge Courseware Scores Against Faculty Ratings and Student Self-Assessments

Author(s):
Powers, Donald E.; Roever, Carsten; Huff, Kristin L.; Trapani, Catherine S.
Publication Year:
2003
Report Number:
RR-03-11
Source:
Document Type:
Subject/Key Words:
LanguEdge courseware English as a second language (ESL) test score meaning validation faculty ratings self-assessment

Abstract

LanguEdge Courseware is a software tool that is designed to help teachers of English as a second language (ESL) build and assess the communicative skills of their students. The purpose of this study was to generate information to help LanguEdge Courseware users understand better the meaning (or validity) of the assessment scores bases on the LanguEdge Courseware. Specifically, the objective was to describe, for each of the four sections of the LanguEdge assessment, relevant characteristics of test takers at various test score levels. To accomplish this objective, the authors gathered data that represent two different perspectives-those of instructors and those of students themselves. Approximately 3,000 students each took one of two parallel forms of the LanguEdge assessment at domestic and international testing sites. Participants also completed a number of self-assessment questions about their English language skills. In addition, for some study participants, instructors rated selected language skills. LanguEdge test scores related moderately (correlations mostly in the .30s and .40s) with student self-assessments. Of the four LanguEdge tests, Listening exhibited the strongest relationships to self-assessments; Speaking, the next strongest; Reading, the next; and Writing, the least. The correlations of faculty ratings with each of the LanguEdge section test scores were generally in the .40s, with some reaching the .50s. The correlations between the various student self-assessment scales and faculty ratings were modest, mostly in the .30s. These correlations suggest that students and faculty had different perspectives on students' English language skills.