Assessment of English Language Learning in a Time of Pandemic: Difficulties and Strategies from State Universities and Colleges’ Language Educators


This study investigated the assessment methods used by English Language Educators (ELEs) in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) for Flexible Learning (FL) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were collected through individual semi-structured online interviews and follow-up email interviews with 11 ELEs from different SUCs. The study aimed to identify the challenges they faced in assessing language learning and explore the strategies employed to address these challenges. The study found that assessing students' learning outcomes in flexible learning has been challenging for educators due to limited access to online resources, intermittent internet connectivity, a high volume of submitted outputs, plagiarism, and limited contact with students. To assess students' progress, ELEs used open-ended questions, portfolios, and pre-recorded speeches. They also employed accessible platforms, quizzes, exams, discussion posts, and assignments to test student knowledge and comprehension. Participants used rubrics, provided feedback and questioning during online discussions, and explained the consequences of plagiarism. Moreover, ELEs employed flexible learning strategies such as creating online resources, providing extra support to struggling students, communicating with students regularly, and reducing the number of activities. To assess students' language needs and abilities, participants read and listened to their responses and employed tests in specific areas such as reading, writing, listening, or speaking. The findings of this study provide valuable insights for educators and administrators in addressing the challenges of flexible learning and improving language assessment practices in higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Author Information
Jimmylen Tonio, Catanduanes State University, Philippines
Romeleen Go-vela, Catanduanes State University, Philippines
Ma. Sofia Llaguno, Catanduanes State University, Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2023
Stream: Higher education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon