Computer Language Testing

The CLA is appointed by the University to carry out assessments of student levels with placement tests, admission tests, proficiency and LSP tests. Another service the CLA provides is a diagnostic test  (also known as a level test), which is of primary importance for students who wish to engage in independent learning. These tests can be taken in one of the CLA’s three self-access centers.

The CLA’s requirements are illustrated in Graph 1 (below).

schema testing CLA

The initial phases of the CLA’s language-testing project involved carefully defining test types and objectives, as well as drawing up a specific syllabus. This enabled the CLA, in a subsequent phase, to choose the requirements and techniques that would best help evaluate the specific competences and abilities for each degree course or faculty.

During the design phase, test designers took into account the impact the test has on the test taker. Their aims were to:

  • take into account multiple intelligences to create a differentiated test that would not favor students who were confident using a particular type of test and not hinder students who were not;
  • provide sufficient, clear instructions so that the test taker would understand how to proceed, i.e. what the aims of the exercise were and what the questions required;
  • give different weighted scores to different activities and/or options, e.g. with multiple choice questions where there may have been more than one correct answer;
  • carefully assess the sequence used to present the test taker with the activities, exercises or questions;
  • Collect statistical data on the single distractor or item : 1) facility index (correct answers out of total) and 2) discrimination index.