In fachspezifischen Sprachkursen des Zentrums für Fremdsprachenausbildung der RUB ist ein Prüfungsformat entstanden, das ganz unterschiedliche Kompetenzen von Studierenden abprüfen kann. In Kleingruppen debattieren die Studierenden über ein Thema, und jede Person vertritt dabei eine vorher festgelegte Perspektive. So lassen sich nicht nur sprachliche und fachliche Kompetenzen, sondern auch soziale Kompetenzen wie der Umgang miteinander beobachten. Lehrender Alan Davis erzählt im Video-Interview, worauf es bei dieser Prüfungsform ankommt.
Das Video enthält deutsch- und englischsprachige Untertitel.
Transkript zum Video (nur englisch)
Group oral exam as a competence-oriented exam
How do you test your students?
[Alan Davis, University Language Centre (ZFA) 0:00:11 – 0:00:40]
We would call it a group oral exam at the Center for foreign languages where I work. We’ve worked so far with pair oral exams for two students who are examined at once. But in this particular form we examine a group of four to six students in one sitting. It takes about half an hour to examine and then grade the students all together.
How do you prepare the exam?
[Alan Davis, University Language Centre 0:00:55 – 0:01:23]
One week before the topics are made available, students prepare and then they come into the exam situation. The students can use the materials that I make available on blackboard. They’re also like to do their own independent research if they wish as well, but I make sure that all of the students have done at least a minimum of preparation which they do. If they wish to do any more than that, then that is up to the individual students.
What are the main competences you are testing?
[Alan Davis, University Language Centre 0:01:27 – 0:02:29]
Main competence that we are assessing or testing here is the linguistic or language ability of the students which plays the central role in what we do. Of course we’re also testing what the students have actually learned during the course. This particular example is taken from a course where the students learned debating skills, where we had a number of debates and discussions. As part of the course the students learn the language of discussions, the language of debate, the language of meetings, how to interrupt politely, how to take floor, how to answer questions, how to give an opinion effectively and so on. In a speaking course at this level social competence plays a major role. The students are working together all of the time and they can prepare the material together, they can sit down together, they can go over or revised the important language items once again together, so there’s plenty of scope here for teamwork, definitely.
Which kind of feedback do your students give?
[Alan Davis, University Language Centre 0:02:35 – 0:03:24]
The students have given me very positive feedback. When they’re actually in the the room with the two examiners who observe – we do not actually take an active role in the discussion – they say that they feel sometimes as if they’re not actually in an exam situation, because they’re so involved or engaged in the topic they’re talking about. So they just completely forget that it’s an example situation. They also say that they like the fact that they’re not alone, that there are other students in the room, that they are talking to their peers, they’re not talking to a professor or a university lecturer. They feel that there’s pressure a lot less in this particular exam situation.
What would you recommend to other teachers working in higher education?
[Alan Davis, University Language Centre 0:03:27 – 0:03:54]
Well, preparation is key here. The students have to know how they’re going to be tested at the end of the semester. This should be made clear from the very beginning. The assessment will be in the form of a group exam and during the semester the students should also have the opportunity to participate in a mock exam, for example with with example questions or example topics.