The main aim of this study was two compare two assessment modalities, in order to be able to assess students' communicative skills in English, both oral and written, through the use of audio narration. Both assessment modalities comprised continuous assessment tasks besides the final examination paper; however, the first modality included only one online assessment task that consisted of the 20% of the students’ final mark), whereas the second modality (experimental for this study) included more online tasks (40% of the students’ final mark). Students could freely choose between these two assessment modes, 80/20 (control group) versus 60/40 (experimental group), as shown in the course guide prepared for this purpose with Genialy: https://view.genial.ly/6027ff792ec856159ae0a30a/learning-experience-challenges-continuousevaluation-activities-ingles-ii-para-turismo-uned.
The results of the students who chose between the two modes were then evaluated by means of a post-questionnaire and their exam results. A questionnaire was also given to tutors to assess their
satisfaction with the new assessment model. The results showed that the students who chose the 60/40 mode obtained a better final mark than those who chose the 80/20 mode.
The objectives were met with great success and even exceeded our expectations. These objectives were:
-To create a set of videos on tourism through collaborative work between tutors and teaching staff
-To increase the motivation and involvement of tutors in the subject
-To test whether the 60/40 assessment model contributes to an improvement in students' learning outcomes and motivation
-To test whether the increase in communicative activities with the use of audio description as a didactic resource contributes to improving the attitude and motivation of students regarding the practice of oral English at a distance.
In short, we can say that the primary objective of having implemented the continuous assessment of the subject English II of Tourism of the Degree in Tourism as a continuous assessment subject proposal EXAM 60% + PECS 40% was achieved. The tutors also collaborated extensively in the correction of the optional Continuous Evaluation tasks included for this continuous assessment modality. Thanks to the activities proposed in this optional task, most of the students were able to practice their oral skills of English in professional areas of Tourism, which otherwise they would not have been able to do so.
Design and planning of the work
Before the start of the course, a meeting was held with the collaborating tutors, in which they were informed about the project and the tasks to be carried out. In addition, students were informed about the option this year of participating in a 60/40 assessment and were asked to choose between one modality or the other (80/20) before the end of the course, by completing a questionnaire on Google, in order to have a record of their choice. The PECs were prepared with two options for the oral PEC, depending on whether they had chosen modality A or B, in order to evaluate the oral PEC with 20% for students in modality B (60/40) compared to 0% for students who chose modality A (20/80).
Development of the activities carried out
All the students of the subject (231) can be considered as having participated in the project, since we wanted to evaluate not only the results of the students who chose mode B (60/40 assessment) but also the number of students who chose this mode as opposed to those who chose the traditional assessment mode (mode A, 20/80). Although the majority of students chose mode A (75%) compared to 58 out of 231 who chose mode B (25%), the final marks show better results for the majority of the group who chose mode B.
Number of teacher tutors involved and tasks
Five tutors participated in this project by completing all the tasks, although eight tutors signed up. All of them were fully involved and declared to have learned from the project, as well as having experimented with innovative methodologies. The tasks they carried out were several. Firstly, one task was to select 5 videos that contained some interesting audio-visual content to be told, related to the world of tourism, and that could be described without too much difficulty (i.e. that had some "gap" without music or conversations where the narration could be inserted). They had to be videos of a level they considered suitable for their peers, according to the vocabulary they should use. They also had to add a narrated audio script with what they thought could be told from that video. They completed the attached table with all the data, including a first example video). In addition, they had to correct the extra PECs of the students who opted for the 60/40 assessment by means of a rubric, which is also attached in annex 2. On the other hand, they were asked to complete a questionnaire on the development of the project. And finally, they were asked to submit the tutorial activity report.
Presentations in Genialy for the students:
https://view.genial.ly/6027ff792ec856159ae0a30a/learning-experience-challenges-continuousevaluation-activities-ingles-ii-para-turismo-uned (on continuous assessment); https://view.genial.ly/600995128918840d054db36a/guide-guia-docente-ingles-para-turismo (Course teaching guide).
The main results showed that, although only 25 % of students chose the 60/40 assessment mode, the majority performed better with this mode: out of 50 students, only 15 obtained lower final marks than if they had chosen the 80/20 mode. This is shown in the annex, where the marks obtained for each PEC are detailed, as well as the mark they would have obtained if they had chosen mode A (80/20). Furthermore, in the post-questionnaire distributed to the students, they indicated that they found the Continuous Evaluation tasks interesting and motivating. However, most of them also indicated that they found them challenging, and some of them suggested a simpler task design, with shorter and clearer instructions and more realistic expectations, as they had to describe a tourist video of Iceland in a very short time and in a very concise and precise way, as is done in audio description. Thus, we have taken these suggestions into account for the design of the assessment tasks this year. Finally, Table 1 illustrates students’ answers to the course satisfaction questionnaire.
Table 1. Students’ answers to the post questionnaire
1. I think I have worked by writing skills (83%)
2. I think I have improved my writing skills (86%)
3. I think I have worked my reading comprehension skills (82%)
4. I think I have developed my reading comprehension skills (76%)
5. I think I have learned practical and useful extra vocabulary and expressions (76%)
6. To correct my classmates has helped me reflect about my own learning and English (89%)
7. Collaborative work has helped me work on my own learning process (86%)
8. The use of authentic materials has motivated me to learn English (79%)
9. I have had to be creative, and this has helped me in my own learning process (89%)
10. The description of audiovisual material was a good way to foster my writing skills (90%)