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English Language Learning: Valid and Reliable Results Essay

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Updated: Jun 6th, 2022

Introduction

It should be noted that American schools have undergone significant structural changes in recent decades. The changes concerned increased not only ethnic and cultural diversity but also knowledge assessment systems. A widely used technology for obtaining school evaluations is testing, active work during the lesson, or homework. However, it is not difficult to understand that a teacher’s score does not always reflect a student’s actual knowledge qualitatively and objectively. The most important criteria for evaluation assessments are validity and reliability. This essay aims to discuss the application of the concept of valid and reliable results of a student’s educational process in the context of English language learning.

Credibility and Reliability of Evaluation

The modern school follows the path of active implementation of data subject to statistical processing to find an objective system of evaluation, models of teacher-student interaction, and drafting quality tasks. In other words, schools tend to minimize the subjective human factor so that the student can know that the knowledge and scores they receive are actual (Cucina et al., 2016). Thus, the study of English teaching — particularly for students with limited knowledge (ELL) — becomes relevant because the subject plays a vital role in a student’s life.

Reliability

When a student receives a grade for a quiz or assignment completed, they want to make sure that the assessment is not affected by contextual factors — the teacher’s or student’s mood, the amount of work to be checked, or an imperfect grading system. In other words, the student wants to ensure that the assessments they receive meet the criteria for validity. This means that the test or assignment does indeed measure what they intend to measure (“Importance of validity and reliability,” 2020). Exaggerating, one could give the example that it makes no sense to give pupils a passage in English for public reading if the text is incredibly shallow and imperceptible to the eye — this is how the teacher intends to check not so much the student’s actual knowledge but rather their vision. In order to create a quality assessment system, the teacher must be based on validity. In particular, it is necessary to verify that the tests developed, namely, the points, questions, and expected answers, are relevant to the English language and aim to test specific subject knowledge (Amrein-Beardsley & Geiger, 2020). Moreover, education specialists consider it an ideal strategy to mix different approaches to obtaining reliable data (Ghazali, 2016). This strategy provides a one-size-fits-all model for checking teachers’ intentions when preparing assignments and assigning scores.

The reliability of the data received is considered to be an equally important evaluation criterion. Reliability corresponds to the degree of consistency and accuracy of the results of the educational process (“Reliability and validity,” n.d.). Existing strategies, such as Test-Retest, should be used to gain confidence in the reliability of the evaluation system (Shillingburg, 2016). If a student who writes a test fails, they should understand that the same grade will be achieved when they write it again. In other words, the importance of reliability in the assessment of knowledge is reduced to a lack of bias and distortion (Steinke & Fitch, 2017). It is fair to say that school scores do not always meet the criteria of reliability because reliability is sensitive to fluctuations in the environment, including the student’s mood, fatigue, or the school climate. All variables should be taken into account so that the student can accurately understand that convergent assignments in different lessons have a strong correlation in the assessment method, while divergent assignments should not reveal a link.

Conclusion

In American schools, where the tendency to introduce statistical tools for analysis and evaluation is noticeable, the criteria of reliability and reliability play a significant role in providing quality and objective scores. Reliability corresponds to the consistency between the task and the instructor’s intention, while reliability shows how accurate and objective the data obtained is. In a sense, it can be argued that reliability is a higher priority in the design of an assessment system than reliability. Simultaneously, the joint functionality of the two criteria makes it possible to eliminate bias and distortions.

References

Amrein-Beardsley, A., & Geiger, T. (2020). Methodological concerns about the education value-added assessment system (EVAAS): Validity, reliability, and bias. SAGE Open, 10(2), 1-15.

Cucina, J. M., Peyton, S. T., Su, C., & Byle, K. A. (2016). Role of mental abilities and mental tests in explaining high-school grades. Intelligence, 54, 90-104.

Ghazali, N. H. M. (2016). A reliability and validity of an instrument to evaluate the school-based assessment system: A pilot study. International Journal of Evaluation and Research in Education, 5(2), 148-157.

Importance of validity and reliability in classroom assessments. (2018). Web.

Shillingburg, W. (2016). Understanding validity and reliability in classroom, school-wide, or district-wide assessments to be used in teacher/principal evaluations [PDF document]. Web.

Steinke, P., & Fitch, P. (2017). Minimizing bias when assessing student work. Research & Practice in Assessment, 12, 87-95.

Reliability and validity. (n.d.). Web.

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