DEREK SMITH (CHIANG MAI UNIVERSITY)

MODERNIZING WRITTEN ASSESSMENT AT CHIANG MAI UNIVERSITY : LANGUAGE TESTING AND ASSESSMENT

Nowadays, nearly every professional document is written entirely on a computer. However, writing assessments with pen and paper are still very common in Thai education. This results in a large quantity of paper required to produce the exams and extraordinary stress for students, as erasing and rewriting anything legibly consumes valuable, limited time. This study aimed to explore converting writing assessments of English classes at Chiang Mai University from paper-based to computer-based. The researcher surveyed the attitudes and level of interest among instructors and students regarding such a change. Next, he used computer-based writing assignments which were modeled after current paper-based assessments and evaluated by a third-party, in order to avoid bias, to examine the possible effects on assessment outcomes. Lastly, he analyzed the logistics of implementing the change to scale. The results spur discussion for other educational contexts and applications as well.

Derek Smith is a lecturer at Chiang Mai University. He enjoys the challenges of teaching writing classes almost as much as he does the green mountains and delicious coffee of Chiang Mai.