TitleDesigning a new assessment model for project-based English education program
AbstractA key challenge confronting universities in an EFL environment is how they provide students with ‘global competency’, or a set of skills and expertise so that they can lead in a global society. To ambitiously address this challenge, Ritsumeikan University started the Project-based English Program (PEP hereafter) in the belief that it can serve as an accelerator for students to foster their ‘global competency’ through carrying out their own projects in English. Although students in PEP have shown consistent improvement in standardized language tests such as TOEIC, multimodal aspects of students’ skills including both intra- and interpersonal communication skills cannot be fully assessed by a language proficiency test alone. Thus, it has come to our attention that PEP needs to design its own assessment model, the Project-based English Program References (PEP-R hereafter), to assess the skills the conventional English tests do not focus on. The implementation of PEP-R on a trial basis has discovered that students’ communication skills encompass the skills to acquire knowledge through searching for information, to carefully plan and develop their projects and to apply the outcome to identify the next challenges. Linguistic performance, without doubt, is a vital aspect when students deliver their ideas; however, to assess their development of communication skills in a much broader sense will lead to enhanced self-efficacy and higher motivation. In the process of designing PEP-R, we divided communication competency into three key concepts: ‘self’, ‘me’, and ‘connection’. They are defined as higher dimensional aspects to specific skills expected to be built upon in PEP. These skills are assessed in a five point scoring rubric. PEP-R is presently used to describe communication skills of more than 500 students in Ritsumeikan University, but has the potential to be a standard model for active learning or project-based English education programs in various institutes.
Y. Kondo, S. Kimura, T. Yamanaka, M. Yamashita