Quinsigamond Community College's Site-Specific Assessment
Christina Hebert, Anne Burke, Linda Gosselin, Arpi Hedeshian
Quinsigamond Community College's
Adult Community Learning Center
The new site-specific ESL assessment
test that follows was developed in response to our instructors'
concerns about the accuracy and scoring of our previous site-specific
assessment test. The original test didn't cover the placement or
assessment of the SPL 7-10 level students. With the addition of
four higher-level ESL classes, instructors and Learning Support
Specialists needed to be able to accurately assess and place students
who fell into that category.
There was also a need for a test that was more objective and more
standardized in its scoring. The older assessment, with its informal
scoring, was adequate for assessing and placing students at the
SPL 0-2, 3-4, and 5-6 levels, but the instructors began asking for
more specific information about their student's oral, reading, writing,
and grammar skills. These concerns and issues prompted our ESL instructors
to create the new test.
Anne Burke, ESL Instructor, SPL 0-2 (beginner), Linda Gosselin,
ESL Instructor, SPL 5-6 (intermediate), and Arpi Hedeshian, ESL
Instructor, 7-10 (advanced) formed a committee to design a new assessment
test. They all agreed that it was time for a new test and the contents
of the old test needed to be upgraded. They held several meetings
during the summer. They looked over samples of tests being used
in the ABE program at QCC and standardized and alternative tests
being used by other programs. They used the standardized BEST Test
as a guide to create their new test. They wanted to make sure their
new test covered all the skill areas. They also surveyed all the
ESL instructors and Learning Support Specialists to ask if the current
test placed their students accurately and if the scoring gave enough
information about their students' oral, reading, writing, and grammar
skills. They asked for suggestions to revise the current assessment
The new test still assesses the four skill areas (oral, grammar,
reading, writing), but the administering and scoring of the test
provides more accurate placement and scoring.
The new assessment test was piloted during the summer of 2000
and is still being piloted throughout the 2000-2001 school year.
The initial committee will review and revise the test this spring
Originally published in Adventures in Assessment,
Volume 13 (Spring 2001),
SABES/World Education, Boston, MA, Copyright 2001.
Funding support for the publication of this document
on the Web provided in part by the Ohio State Literacy Resource
Center as part of the LINCS
Assessment Special Collection.