Washback effect refers to the impact of testing on curriculum de, teaching practices, and learning behaviors.
Washback effect in testing is typically seen as either negative, or positive sometimes referred to as washforward. Washback can also be positive or negative in that it either maintains or hinders the accomplishment of educational goals. In positive washback, teaching the curriculum becomes the same as teaching to a specific test.
Negative washback occurs in situations where there may be a mismatch between the stated goals of instruction and the focus of assessment; it may lead to the abandonment of instructional goals in favor of test preparation. The effect of a test on learning and teaching is a concept discussed as early as the 19th century.
As the of tests became more important to students gatekeepers to future prospectsteachers evaluationschools fundingand states lawsuitstest preparation as a function of teaching became essential. Tests were made to be economical, using multiple-choice questions and focusing on psychometric validity, but perhaps not measuring more complex abilities.
Schools and teachers were able for student test performance, and thus focused on the skills and outcomes that the tests measured. Given the dynamic interaction between testing and education, the term systematic validity was used to refer to the ways in which a test le to changes in instruction intended to develop cognitive skills that are being measured by a test.
Research has shown the variable extent to which washback influences different individuals in different ways, and the difficulty of targeting washback. ificant variability has been noted in the ways that teachers respond to test changes and classroom assessments.
Effects may be superficial, indirect, and unpredictable due to individual differences in the way that learning is mediated by teachers, textbook writers, and publishers. With globalizationthe world has witnessed an increase in Internationalization of Higher Educationwhich has resulted in a dramatic increase in the of international students in the last 25 years.
The increasing weight of these tools in education raises questions back the impact of such tests on teaching and learning, with suggestions that language skills are suffering due to the impact of tests. As English as an International Language EIL continues to become more stable through the establishment of clearer features of context-driven English, it is inevitable that there will be ificant debate on language norms and proficiency regarding teaching and assessment.
Not to be confused with washbackthe large vessel used in the page of Scotch whisky.
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