Conceptualizing Formative Blended Assessment (FBA) in Saudi EFL

Conceptualizing Formative Blended Assessment (FBA) in Saudi EFL

Mansoor S. Almalki (Taif University, Saudi Arabia) and Paul Gruba (The University of Melbourne, Australia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3062-7.ch004
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This chapter sets out a conceptual framework for the design and use of ‘blended assessments' that seek to create formative activities that can be characterized by shifting modalities of presentation, variations in time and action, and moves from individual to group work. The study's framing is built upon longitudinal participatory action research based on the research questions. In addition to auto-ethnographic observations, 13 Saudi participants—three course coordinators, seven instructors, and three students—were asked to participate in focus groups and individual interviews. Using qualitative data analysis software, three core characteristics of formative blended assessment were identified: (1) multi-modal activities, flexibility, and peer encouragement, for example, were seen to be an ‘advantage'; (2) alignment of pedagogies and assessment tasks were perceived in a ‘compatibility' theme; and (3) the possibility of dishonest behaviors and administrative challenges were classed under ‘complexity'.
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This section reviews the literature on blended learning starting with the definition of blended learning. It highlights the area of innovation needed, and impetus for the innovation.

Definition of Blended learning

According to Mandl and Kopp (2006), blended learning is the felicitous combination of the benefits e-learning offers with the advantages of traditional face-to-face-learning settings. In other words, it is the combination of learning in class and learning online in formal education. In the literature, term blended learning is defined as hybrid, blended and mixed modes (Swan, 2009). Blended learning in this chapter refers to the notion that students generally attend face-to-face classes and have online access to the course content and activities.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Blended Learning: The notion that students generally attend face-to-face classes and have online access to the course content and activities.

Multi-Approach: Encompassing the elements of integration and innovation.

Blended Assessment: It is a type of assessment differing from traditional assessment and unlike paper and pencil formats as well as including collaborative and individual work.

Integration: It involves the delivery of the language assessment tasks through both traditional and online means.

Formative Assessment: The task and feedback occur at a time when the student (and instructor) still has ample opportunity to rectify unsatisfactory language learning performance.

Collaboration: A kind of work where course coordinators, instructors and students all contribute to the assessment design.

Innovation: Using technology for creativity, for example, implementing blended assessment when measuring students’ writings or tasks.

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