CALICO Journal, Vol 22, No 3 (2005)

Students' Dynamic Assessment Via Online Chat

Ana Oskoz
Issued Date: 7 Aug 2014


While there is ample documentation on the use of synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC) in the foreign language classroom for instructional purposes (Beauvois, 1994, 1998; Beauvois & Eledge, 1996; Chun, 1994; Darhower, 2002; Kelm, 1992, Kern, 1995; Warschauer, 1996), research devoted to assessment in this area is quite rare (Heather, 2003; Oscoz, 2003). One reason for this lack of research is the process-oriented nature of SCMC that demands new research and evaluation tools (Furstenberg, Levet, English, & Maillet, 2001). This study explores the possibility of applying dynamic assessment (DA), which focuses on process rather than on the product, to SCMC. The study draws on the work of Antón (2003), who examined students' performance in oral interaction following DA techniques and on Aljaafreh and Lantolf's (1994) 5-level scale (based on the frequency and type of assistance provided to the learner) to assess learners' language development in SCMC. The data presented in this study shows that the application of the 5-level scale makes it possible to obtain a more accurate picture of learners' stage of development. In spite of the benefits of DA, the study also suggests that the traditional modes of assessment are still required to assess students' performance in SCMC. As Johnson (2004) stated, both modes are needed to obtain a richer and more complete understanding of students' language development.

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DOI: 10.1558/cj.v22i3.513-536


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