Title

Online Assessment of Lower Division Foreign Language Student Proficiency: Reflecting on Two Years' Experience

Subject Area

Language & Technology

Abstract

At Valdosta State University the WebCAPE online placement test has been used as a proficiency test for the purpose of program assessment since the spring of 2013. Tests are given at the beginning and end of each semester in all sections of a specific lower division course. Courses are being evaluated sequentially over a period of four semesters to assess the entire lower division curriculum of Spanish and French. Data provide insight into students’ progress as a pre- and posttest within semesters as well as longitudinally across semesters.

This presentation focuses on the results of the first full four-semester cycle using this assessment. We will present findings from the data and discuss both pros and cons of using this online tool to assess proficiency, as well as considerations as we move forward. This topic may be of interest to foreign language instructors, program coordinators, department heads, curriculum planners and assessment directors alike.

Brief Bio Note

Dr. Fleming L. Bell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at Valdosta State University, academic advisor to Spanish majors, and former coordinator of the lower division Spanish program.

Dr. Karen Acosta is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at Valdosta State University, and current coordinator of the lower division Spanish program.

Both serve as members of their department’s assessment committee.

Keywords

Foreign language, Assessment, Spanish assessment, Online assessment, French assessment, Foreign language assessment

Location

Coastal Georgia Center

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

4-7-2016 2:00 PM

End Date

4-7-2016 2:20 PM

Embargo

12-1-2015

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Apr 7th, 2:00 PM Apr 7th, 2:20 PM

Online Assessment of Lower Division Foreign Language Student Proficiency: Reflecting on Two Years' Experience

Coastal Georgia Center

At Valdosta State University the WebCAPE online placement test has been used as a proficiency test for the purpose of program assessment since the spring of 2013. Tests are given at the beginning and end of each semester in all sections of a specific lower division course. Courses are being evaluated sequentially over a period of four semesters to assess the entire lower division curriculum of Spanish and French. Data provide insight into students’ progress as a pre- and posttest within semesters as well as longitudinally across semesters.

This presentation focuses on the results of the first full four-semester cycle using this assessment. We will present findings from the data and discuss both pros and cons of using this online tool to assess proficiency, as well as considerations as we move forward. This topic may be of interest to foreign language instructors, program coordinators, department heads, curriculum planners and assessment directors alike.