Investigating Saudi University EFL Teachers’ Assessment Literacy: Theory and Practice

  •  Muhammad Umer    
  •  Mohamad Zakaria    
  •  Moayad Alshara    


Teacher assessment literacy (TAL) is believed to have positive impact on student learning outcomes. Therefore, attempts are made, especially, in advanced educational contexts to increase TAL. In the context of Saudi higher education, available empirical evidence indicates that EFL teacher assessment literacy is replete with loopholes. This mixed-method research investigated Saudi EFL teachers’ construction of assessment tasks, the influence the tasks had on students’ learning and the extent to which teachers’ assessment practices were in alignment with recommended assessment practices. The data were collected through analyzing teachers’ summative assessment tasks and a student survey with both close and open-ended questions. Apart from the participants’ responses to the open-ended questions of the survey, the data went through quantitative data analysis for frequencies and percentages. The findings revealed a serious incongruity between teachers’ assessment tasks and course learning outcomes. For instance, higher order learning outcomes were not assessed at all. Most of the tasks were selected-response questions (SRQs). As confirmed by the survey data, the assessment tasks mainly triggered memorization as a learning strategy. Therefore, suggestions are made that university teachers’ professional development with particular focus on their assessment literacy is placed at the center of higher education policies. Without valid assessment in place, the edifice of Saudi (higher) education system may lose its efficacy. 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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