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Code of Ethics, Code of Practice


Could it be that a code of ethics will restrict FL test constructors and they would not be able to ... while we force FL teachers and in a way test designers ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Code of Ethics, Code of Practice


Code of Ethics, Code of Practice and
Certification of Attainment in Greek
  • Niovi Antonopoulou
  • Aristotle University, Thessaloniki-Greece

  • First part
  • A very brief preview on the evolution of testing
    and assessment.
  • A literature review relative to the codes of
    practice and of ethics.
  •  Second part
  • Definitions of the code of ethics and the code of
    practice and fairness in testing.
  • A brief description of the structure of the test
    for the certificate of attainment in Greek.
  • Evaluation/critical review of the examinations
    for the certificate of attainment in Greek.

Professional books and journal articles, by
and large, have tended to concentrate heavily on
theoretical and statistical aspects of test
validity and reliability and are most often
written by academics or educational measurement
specialists who are primarily concerned with
large-scale test construction and Validation.
(Brindley. 2001 127)
  • Could it be that all the frameworks are very
    elaborate and bureaucratic for the language
    testers or teachers to imbed?
  • Could it be that people engaged in this field
    address only experts?
  • Could it be that a code of ethics will restrict
    FL test constructors and they would not be able
    to do the job?
  • Could it be that in the effort to cover all the
    various cases, we end up with a vast framework,
    vague and obscure, where comprehension of terms
    can only be achieved if ever with the help of a
    special dictionary?
  • Could it be that from all those mentioned in a
    code of ethics only a selection would compile a
    general framework for a code of good practice,
    which could be used universally by all testers?

we had selected six specific sets of
standards, because these sets were good examples
of the kind of work that has been done in the
recent past and because each set of standards
adds something new to our understanding of what
standards can and need to be. Alderson et al
(1991 254)
  • Which content and methodology are best and will
    this agreement last for more than a few years,
    when a new fashion changes our views about what
    the most appropriate content and methodology
    should be?
  • Will any one set of standards be suitable for the
    range of tests on offer, or will standards which
    are suitable for one sort of test force all other
    tests into the same mould (e.g.
    discrete-point vs. performance-based tests)?
  • How comprehensive should standards be? Should
    they be confined to testing instruments and test
    procedures, or should they concern themselves
    with test use? Should they go even further and
    provide guidelines for dealing with political
    realities and the dubious intentions of some
    people in our societies?
  • How detailed should they be? Where is the line
    between essential detail and triviality?
  • What sort of language should be used - language
    that will be understood by testers or language
    that the general public can understand?
  • Which languages should they be written in, and
    who will do the translations?
  • How idealistic should they be? Should they
    describe the minimum in good practice or should
    they describe the maximum? How prescriptive
    should and can they be?
  • Should some standards be more dispensable than
    others? Is the primary, secondary and conditional
    distinction useful or is it confusing?
  • Should standards be enforceable? If so, who will
    enforce them? If not, how can we be sure that all
    parties are putting their best into the effort?
  • Is there a way of 'piloting' the standards, so
    that we can find out if they are effective?

Im not sure its possible to create anything
thats universally usable. Mace (1998 cited
in Johnstone, C. J. 2003)
  • To what extent is that true?
  • What exactly do they mean by that?
  • How consistent with the rules are the procedures
    they employ?
  • Would their professionalism really stand up to
  • What does ethics in language testing mean?
  • Is it ethical to accept even the positive
    washback, while we force FL teachers and in a way
    test designers too, to adjust their teaching to
    the various types of testing?
  • Do testers take into consideration, not only the
    linguistic needs, but also the opinion, of
    teachers and candidates while constructing a test
    and to what extend?

Moral may indeed be more often applied to the
practice or actions of individuals but in
practice the terms ethics/ethicality and
morals/morality appear to be used
interchangeably Davies, A 1997 238
   Code of Ethics in Testing   Code of
Fairness in Testing Code of Good
Professional Standards
  • One way of thinking of professional ethics is
    that is assembles guidelines for action. The
    ethical principles of the American Psychological
    Association (APA), for instance, presents itself
    just this way, saying that the code is intended
    to provide both the general principles and the
    decision rules to cover most situations
    encountered by psychologists.
  • (Bishop Sharon, 2004 111)

The Certificate of Attainment in Greek,
(hereafter CAG), was established in 1998 by the
Ministry of National Education. The Centre for
the Greek Language (hereafter CGL) has been
designated as the official organizer of the
relevant large-scale examination locally and
abroad and has conducted examinations since 1999.
Today there are 73 authorised examination centres
in 40 countries throughout the world and the
total number of nationalities represented is
about 47. The candidates who entered the
examination this year were 2.550.

The examination is structured as follows
Listening Examination (25)
Reading Examination (25)
Writing Examination (25)
Speaking Examination (25)
(No Transcript)
  • It is intended to offer a benchmark of
    satisfactory ethical behaviour by all language
  • Ethics is based on a blend of the principles of
    beneficence, non-maleficence, justice, a respect
    for autonomy and for civil society.
  • ?t endeavours to reflect the ever changing
    balance of societal and cultural values across
    the world.
  • Language testers are independent moral agents and
    sometimes they may have a personal moral.
  • The Code of Ethics by ILTA (adopted at the
    annual meeting of ILTA held in Vancouver, March

Principle 1 Language testers shall have respect
for the humanity and dignity of each of their
test takers. They shall provide them with the
best possible professional consideration and
shall respect all persons needs, values and
cultures in the provision of their language
testing service.

Principle 2 Language testers shall hold all
information obtained in their professional
capacity about their test takers in confidence
and they shall use professional judgment in
sharing such information.
Principle 3 Language testers should adhere to all
relevant ethical principles embodied in national
and international guidelines when undertaking any
trial, experiment, treatment or other research
Principle 5 Language testers shall continue to
develop their professional knowledge, sharing
this knowledge with colleagues and other language
Principle 7 Language testers in their societal
roles shall strive to improve the quality of
language testing, assessment and teaching
services, promote the just allocation of those
services and contribute to the education of
society regarding language learning and language
Principle 4 Language testers shall not allow the
misuse of their professional knowledge or skills,
in so far as they are able.
Principle 6 Language testers shall share the
responsibility of upholding the integrity of the
language testing profession.
Principle 8 Language testers shall be mindful of
their obligations to the society within which
they work, while recognizing that those
obligations may on occasion conflict with their
responsibilities to their test takers and to
other stakeholders.
Principle 9 Language testers shall regularly
consider the potential effects, both short and
long term on all stakeholders of their projects,
reserving the right to withhold their
professional services on the grounds of conscience
First stage
First part Planning Description of the participants. Test takers communicative language needs analysis. Content and structure of the test. A Comprehensive Examination Syllabus and specifications. Criterial levels of performance (rating scales). .
Second part Production of guidelines and specifications b.Training Handbook for test takers, test users and staff. Handbook for the establishment of examination centre. Handbook for test construction. Guidelines and specifications for raters, interviewers, invigilators, administrators. Supporting material for teachers and test takers. Selection and training of the test constructors. Selection and training of interviewers, raters and staff. Training seminars in the examination centers.
Third part Material for administration Application forms Notification about various modifications Questionnaires for test takers
Second stage
Test development Choice of the elements to be tested in line with the specifications. Selection of the texts and items. Choice of the tasks. Grading of items. Informal trialling of the test. Analysis of results of the trial. Moderation and rewriting of items. Validation on the final version of the test items. Preparation and recording (training of the actors, choice of music etc.)
Third stage
Administration Printing of test papers. Dispatching material to the examination centres. Examination. Standardization meeting. Scoring procedure. Results. Analysis and interpretation of the results. (validity, reliability, discrimination, item analysis etc.). Final report. Records. Gathering information for improving tests. Research.
  • Test items for the Certificate of Attainment in
  • are realistic, valid, reliable and objective
  • are directly related to everyday activities
  • correspond to the candidates' needs
  • aim at the use of the language in contexts that
    are relevant to the aims and needs of candidates
  • do not cause any unnecessary anxiety or stress to
  • involve as authentic and as interesting as
    possible topics, which reflect everyday
  • do not involve topics which may offend any
  • take into account factors like gender, the
    status, and the personality of candidates and, to
    a certain extent, their possible knowledge and
    experience, in that they do not include topics
    which may involve unknown or specialized
    language, e.g. terminology.

Thank you!