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UEW builds capacity of affiliated colleges

BY: Gilbert Mawuli Agbey
• Prof. Dandy George Dampson, Director of ITECPD addressing the participants

A three day capacity building workshop on Test Item Construction has been organised for tutors of all 15 Colleges of Education affiliated to the University of Education, Winneba (UEW).

The training which was attended by 90 tutors drawn from the affiliated Colleges of Education was organised by the Institute for Teacher Education and Continuing Professional Development (ITECPD).

The objective of the workshop was to train the participants on how to use the course manual to set appropriate objective test items, use of table of specification for item construction purposes and to support their colleague tutors to use the course manual to develop items for assessment.

Mentoring process

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Director of ITECPD, Professor Dandy George Dampson said one of the key components of the mentoring process for the affiliated colleges of education was to coach the tutors to develop a standardised assessment framework for assessing students in the implementation of the new four-year Bachelor of Education curriculum.

He noted that the curriculum mandated tutors to refresh their skills through research, assessment, quality and standardised teaching and learning although the tutors over the years distinguished themselves as expects in test item construction.

He stated that research indicated teachers tended to use test they had prepared themselves more often than any other type of test, saying “cognitive complexity, content quality, meaningfulness, language appropriateness, transfer and generalisability, fairness and reliability are the generally accepted criteria for establishing the technical quality of a test”.

He stressed “achieving these seven criteria calls for the development of in-depth knowledge and technical skills and know-how in test item construction”.

Repeat past questions

 He indicated that majority of the tutors used to reload and repeat most of the past questions due to the teaching and research workload accrued on individual tutors, noting “the placebo effect is that students abandon lecture halls and rely on past questions with the hope that tutors will repeat them without alteration”.

Competitive market

He further charged them to examine their students without fear or favour so as to nurture them to become problem-solving and critical thinking products to enable them to compete favourably in the world of work.

“What you sell to your students as tutors is effective and efficient teaching, learning and assessment which equates to the certificates awarded to them to compete in the global job market” he pointed out.

He further entreated the participants to dialogue, critique and help the facilitators to develop test items and a standardised process of assessing students in all the colleges of education.

The Dean of Students Affairs at the UEW, Prof Ernest Amponsah, who represented the Vice-Chancellor, said the UEW was committed towards building the capacity of the staff of the affiliated colleges of education for their mutual benefit.

He noted that the UEW would do its part in the mentoring process towards improving standards in the affiliated institutions.