“Experiencing theory first-hand was delightful and informative”: Bridging the Theory-Practice Gap in Online Language Assessment Training

Document Type : Original Article


RELC, Singapore


It has been argued that successful professional development efforts, especially in assessment-literacy, need to address emotional components and the existence of implicit conceptions in order to raise consciousness and ultimately transform practice (Xu and Brown, 2016: p. 156).   Experiential approaches have been shown to be highly effective for adult learning, especially in bringing about and sustaining changes in beliefs and practices. In this paper, I explore the use of an experiential approach in an online language assessment course, describing in depth two formative assessment (FA) activities and the technology tools that were employed. These activities served to (1) develop participants’ AL in formative assessment, including online formative assessment; (2) evoke emotions, raise consciousness about conceptions, and prompt a desire for transformation; and (3) bridge the theory-practice gap. This paper offers insights into approaches to FA and teacher development in online settings and seeks to contribute to the growing body of knowledge in the field of assessment education.