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Teachers’ perceptions on the effectiveness of the Oxford Online Placement Test at King Abdulaziz University

NASEM, HEBA,MOHAMMED,A (2019) Teachers’ perceptions on the effectiveness of the Oxford Online Placement Test at King Abdulaziz University. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



English language placements tests are an essential component of preparatory year programmes (PYPs) as they serve to place students in an English course adequate to their level of proficiency. The aim of the study is to evaluate the perceived effectiveness of the Oxford Online Placement Test (OOPT), as seen by teachers in the English Language Institute (ELI) at King Abdulaziz University (KAU). The investigation explores teachers’ views on the OOPT, on the ELI modules and on factors affecting students’ test performance. It is framed by Messick’s (1989) unified view of validity, which informed both the data analysis and the interpretation of the findings.
The study comprised three data collection stages: Stage 1: face-to face interviews, Stage 2: the questionnaire and Stage 3: telephone interviews. The majority of the questionnaire and interview respondents were unfamiliar with the OOPT, however, those who were familiar with the test, agreed that it was an effective tool and generally placed students in the correct level. However, some teachers felt that the content of the OOPT was not relevant to Saudi students.
Educational background, computer literacy and socio-economic status emerged as factors influencing achievement in the OOPT and ELI modules, according to teachers. Teachers also agreed that students specialising in the Sciences generally performed better compared to those specialising in the Arts.
With regards to the ELI modules, the majority of teachers felt that the courses were too short and that students who were placed in higher levels because of their OOPT scores were generally more proficient than those who had progressed through the ELI modules.
Implications for theory and practice are drawn from the findings as well as recommendations for the ELI and for future research.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Mar 2019 12:17

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