SONJA BURROWS, PhD | Portfolio

Canvas Language Assessments | Middlebury Language Schools

Description: These language assessments are the result of a collaboration between Sonja Burrows of the Office of Digital Learning and Inquiry, and staff at the Middlebury Language Schools, resulting in the migration and redesign of language assessments into Canvas, Middlebury’s Learning Management System. As part of the migration and redesign process, existing assessments were transferred to the LMS and then re-evaluated for efficacy, validity, clarity, pedagogical implications, as well as for ease of use for both test takers and program administrators. Languages treated in this collaboration include French, Spanish, Italian, German, Korean, Arabic and Russian. These assessments are used for both placement and as pre-post measurements of growth.

Process: Once migrated to Canvas, the language assessments used by the Middlebury Language Schools were redesigned, tested and then sent to incoming students for placement purposes. The collaboration consisted of support in learning to use the new LMS as well as how to build new content and troubleshoot issues. Through this collaboration, staff also had the opportunity to check the validity of test items, in many cases to rewrite them, and to test them prior to student use. Once launched, each language assessment was used by hundreds of students as part of their application process to the Language Schools. After the first year of use, each assessment underwent new iterations in successive years, again providing the opportunity to staff to re-evaluate and improve the assessments.

Features: Most of the language assessments included in this collaboration used standard quizzing functionalities available in Canvas, such as multiple choice, short answer, matching, and more. Additionally, many assessments also incorporated an oral component so that students could record audio samples as part of their assessment. At the end of their experience at the Language Schools, many students again took these assessments so as to aid staff in preparing growth reports for learners upon completion of the program.

Sonja Burrows served as Instructional Designer on this project as part of her work with Middlebury’s Office of Digital Learning and Inquiry. Please send a message to request more information.


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