RATERS’ PREJUDICES IN ORAL PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT

Murat Polat, Emel Akay

Abstract


Research on testing speaking claims that raters’ beliefs, perceptions and even their prejudices may be involved in the process of grading although they are given a set of rubrics to stay on the same track and have stable qualities on the assessment of oral production that is why many researchers have studied the rationale of those beliefs and the amount it affects the scores. This study aimed to find out whether the perceptions and beliefs of raters’ play a significant role in testing speaking and question the role of experience in the involvement of such beliefs. To do that, a group of raters were asked to grade the audio recordings of a group of students twice with one-month-interval in between, being misinformed about the students’ physical appearances each time with the help of different pictures, and were interviewed later to identify whether their pre-conceptions on students’ physical appearances play a role in their grading oral performances. Also, the data obtained were used to draw some conclusions whether the raters intentionally or unintentionally used their beliefs in the grading process. The analysis revealed that student appearance may be significantly effective in teachers’ grading and this is true especially for experienced teachers who believe their judgements are true and unbiased more than the less experienced ones.

 

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Keywords


performance assessment, rater prejudice, bias, halo effect, physical appearance

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References


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