Single-Correct Answer (SCA) and Multiple-Correct Answer (MCA) in Multiple-Choice Computer Assisted Language Testing (CALT) Program

Herri MULYONOa*, Gunawan SURYOPUTROa & Tri Wintolo APOKOa

aUniversity of Muhammadiyah Prof. DR. HAMKA (UHAMKA), Indonesia

*hmulyono@uhamka.ac.id

Computer has been widely used to assess language proficiency (Coniam, 2006; Dunkel, 1991; Lee, 2004; Y. Sawaki, Stricker, & Oranje, 2009). In promoting the benefits of computer in carrying the language testing task, some literature (e.g. Choi, Kim, & Boo, 2003; Coniam, 2006; Lee, 2004; Sawaki, 2001) evaluate the use of computer in testing language within comparison to conventional paper-based test. Coniam(2006) evaluate the use computer-based and paper-based English listening test. His evaluation of 115 students grade 11 and 12 from two schools attending the two mode of tests: computer and paper based tests has shown that the students performed better in computer-based test than the conventional one. In Choi et al.’s (2003) comparative study of a paper-based language test and a computer based test at five universities at Korea, they found that the section of reading within the computer based test received the weakest support. Choi et al (2003) believes that eye fatigue may be factors harming students’ concentration while reading the passages on the computer. This corresponds suggestion offered by Bridgman and Rock (1993) saying that computer based test need to pay attention to the length of instruction given.

Some authors view that open-ended questions (e.g. essay) offers wider room for measuring cognitive process as well as behavior (e.g. Bennett et al., 1990; Birenbaum & Tatsuoka, 1987; Brown, 2004). Although multiple choice test format is likely viewed to be inferior in exploring students’ problem solving ability as well as constrain teachers from retrieving much information from the students or test takers (Birenbaum & Tatsuoka, 1987), the test format may be seen as alternative of test that offer less stress for students and practical. Within multiple choice test format, students may be facilitated by available answers to the question items (Cheng, 2004) and retrieved direct feedback as the test offers benefit in suggesting practicality of scoring (see Birenbaum & Tatsuoka, 1987; Bridgeman & Rock, 1993).

In a study conducted by Coniam(1999), the use of multiple choice test in computer based program is shown to be students’ preference compared to the paper-based test. Coniam(1999) argues that students’ preference to the computer-based program is derived by simplicity of the program such as clicking alternative answer in multiple choice test application. In addition, a study conducted by Cheng (2004) has shown that students preferred the multiple-choice test compared to the multiple choice cloze and the open-ended tests. Cheng (2004) discusses that students’ preference is mainly derived by stimuli available in multiple choice test format. Furthermore, it is likely obvious that alternative answers available in the multiple choice tests promote students for guessing. However, it is still not clear if the scoring method applied in the three test formats may also attribute to such students’ preference.

In Indonesian context, wide use of computer to facilitate language testing has been applied to evaluate school teachers’ competence. For such use, the Indonesian government has developed web-based application to facilitate this teacher competency online testing as available to access at http://www.ukg.web.id. Although teachers have been shown to get much exposures as well as experiences in completing the online testing, they are likely to pay little interest of using computer to evaluate their students’ language proficiency. There are three indications to this reluctance of using computer for testing purpose in Indonesian secondary school context: 1) teachers’ inadequate knowledge of testing principles applied in computer-based testing, and 2) teachers’ inability of designing computer based test for classroom use. This paper describes principles applied in designing SCA and MCA CALT programs in assessing secondary school students’ grammar proficiency. It also discusses students’ preference to SCA and MCA CALT programs they experienced.

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Creating native-like but comprehensible listening texts for EFL learners using NaturalReader

A media review by:

Herri Mulyono

 

“Native English speakers are often thought to bring benefits to English as a foreign language (EFL) classrooms. The native speaker is often called upon to answer vocabulary and pronunciation issues from non-native speakers (Medgyes, 1994). Within this perspective, the native speaker is believed to promote the best model for language users (see Carless, 2006; Lasagabaster & Sierra, 2002) and may encourage extrinsic motivation for EFL learners (Carless, 2006; Harmer, 2007), particularly in listening sessions. However, many EFL learners encounter difficulty in comprehending the speech of native speakers. Speech rate is believed to be one of the factors leading to such problems (see Griffiths, 1991; Hirai, 1999).

Text-to-speech (TTS) technologies, which allow users to “make the computer talk” by transforming text input into speech, offer one way to control the speed of the input learners receive (Handley, 2009, p. 906). Although speech synthesis was originally developed for people with visual impairments (Kilickaya, 2006), some teachers have begun to adopt TTS technology in foreign language classrooms. Handley (2009) states that integration of TTS within the computer-assisted language learning (CALL) environment may involve three different roles: reading machine, pronunciation model, and dialogue partner. In reference to these roles, TTS technology offers increased opportunities for EFL learners to access the target language with a native-like, but accessible model.

NaturalReader, originally developed by NaturalSoft Ltd in Canada, is TTS synthesis software that promotes natural voice conversion from text input. With supplementary add-in and floating bar features, the software is not only able to carry out text-to-speech conversion from MS office documents, PDFs, webpages, and email, but also to convert these texts into audio files in MP3 or WAV formats (NaturalReader, 2014). The advanced version 12 of this software now has made optical character recognition (OCR) possible, and this makes the number and types of texts available for TTS conversion even greater.

This article describes the basic operational functionality and features of NaturalReader as a text-to-speech synthesis system. It will also discuss some ways that NaturalReader may be used to facilitate the provision of native-like, but comprehensible input to EFL learners. “

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Judul: Di Bawah Cahaya Kembang Api
Penulis: Herri Mulyono
Editor: @Avet89
Desain Cover: de A media kreatif
Layout: de A media kreatif
ISBN 978-602-1203-19-4
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SINOPSIS:

Menuntut ilmu di negeri Elizabeth, memberikan kesan dan makna tersendiri. Bertemu dengan Marjorie yang menunjukkan hakikat wanita dari langit—menguatkan hati—menjadikan hidup lebih berwarna dengan kebahagian di dalamnya. Menikmati fasilitas dengan teknologi, mengajarkan arti bagaimana hidup penuh dengan perjuangan dalam kisah Before Fourty. Bukan hanya pesan tentang kedewasaan, tetapi juga beberapa surat kecil untuk Azra dan Rudy yang tertulis, bercerita tentang persepktif bahagia yang beraneka ragam. Hanyut dalam hedonisme di bawah cahaya kembang api
di River Thames, kota London, menjadi catatan kecil betapa keindahan dan romantisme kehidupan tidak selalu identik dengan gemerlap dunia. Serta kisah perjalanan lainnya yang terangkum dalam cerita pendek—dengan pesan-pesan berharga lainnya. Selamat membaca!
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Parable of the Noah’s Ark Called “The Curriculum 2013”

 

Written by: Herri Mulyono

 

In his parable, the minister of education and culture crowned himself as the Noah to whom God had spoken His holy verses (See Sindonews, 16 March 2013). Within glamorous fancy dream, the Noah was told by his Lord to save all Indonesian which he claimed as his people from a catastrophe. From the favour of his God’s eyes, the Indonesian Noah was instructed to build a giant ark which he called “The New Curriculum 2013”. He believed that the ark he was building would be the best he could afford to save his people and further generation of himself.

As he started to cut down the trees and shape them into a woody frame, people began to scream for criticism. They asked Noah for what he was doing with those trees. Noah had cut off great number of people’s trees and irrationally was said to build an enormous vessel on mountainous deserts. With his knowledge, Noah’s spoken verses were sent to those people of whom he recognized as unbelievers. “The country was occupied by a mess and if it were not with the new curriculum 2013 as a vessel, it would have headed to destruction,” said Noah. “Unless you were with us, you all people would have been swept by a giant flood God would send.”

Some people believed in what Noah had spoken to them about the future whereas some others cynically argued his plan through both spoken and written spells. Behind mountains, many of Noah’s people had not been really care as they were too pessimistic with future of the country. Some others criticized their money that Noah had spent for the giant project. Furthermore, the most interesting was some people had written petition to God claiming if he were really the Noah, the one He had genuinely sent to them to save their nation.

In the petition letter they sent to God, these people were in inquiry if God really told Noah to build a new ark that at the same time they had already got one giant vessel? Were it Noah that He chose, why had he not attempted to accomplish the old one and made it a perfect ark? They told God, that they were not the unbelievers as claimed by Noah, yet a remnant of people who also loved their country full heartedly.

Were the July 2013 the doomsday that he would had used the ark to save our people, why had the giant vessel not been shown to be strong and seen many wrecks on its wall even before it had been used to sail? Noah was believed in rushed to cut off the young trees for the body of the vessel. These woods clearly would have been strong enough to bring million of people on the crack vessel through incoming tremendous flood. Even some of his people: such as teachers and educators who agreed with the new ark plan had shown their critics about the flimsy vessel (see edukasi.kompas.com 25 March 2013).

If the vessel was intended to save people and their future generation from destruction, should it not have been made for a trial and error project? The trial and error project obviously would suffer many people not only their life but also their children’s life in the next days.

It was too ambitious project with no guarantee of success at all. It was similar argument from the new ark’s devotees who claimed the failure of our old vessel. All people had known that the making of new ark that Noah called the curriculum 2013 cost a lot of money, about Rp. 2.4 trillion (see Detiknews, 1 February 2013). They wondered about the money. This money of course did not belong to either Noah or people who supported him individually, but it was massively people’s money across the nation. Thus, we asked you God to open their ears to listen our cries.

If Noah really insisted for the new ark, had it been wise to listen to his people’s voice and had some seats to work together? Otherwise, Noah and his devotes may have their patience to wait for some years to have The Curriculum 2013 completed as a perfect vessel. This perfect vessel later was not only for a remnant of people, but all Indonesian people today and next generations. The ark would then be a proud of all people in the nation, as the curriculum may vessel their children and future generation to the qualified human resources.

“… berhenti sebelum kenyang” selain dari tinjauan medis untuk mejaga kesehatan, rupanya memiliki filosofi yang sangat tinggi.

“Berhenti sebelum kenyang” direfleksikan dari kehidupan Fir’aun. Firaun adalah produk “terbaik” yang kenyang atas semua hal: fisik, ilmu, kekayaan dan wanita; yang kemudian menempatkan dirinya menjadi “sumber segalanya” karena tidak tersaingi. “Merasa cukup, merasa mapan, merasa aman” adalah sebuah awal dari kemalasan yang sangat potensial, dan bentuk penciptaan diri sebagai Tuhan, seperti yang dahulu diperbuat fir’aun yang kemudian menjadikan sombong, angkuh dan menzolimi (karena kekuatan/”kenyang”) yang perolehnya.

“… berhenti sebelum kenyang” merupakan refleksi “kesadaran/mawas diri” dari “kelaparan dan kekenyangan” untuk menjadi diri yang lebih baik, dan yang lebih bermanfaat.

-HM York, 13 Mei 2013

Ketika memasak, kita diajarkan untuk memperhatikan “asap/bau” dari masakan yang timbul, sehingga kita berhati-hati untuk menjaga bila bau tersebut mengganggu mereka yang merasa lapar dan menawarkan sedikit dari yang kita masak tersebut untuk menyenangkan dan membahagiakan. Filosofi “bau” tersebut kian berkembang, dan menjelajah dunia maya dalam transformasi foto-foto ataupun kalimat yang diunggah, yang sering kali “memberikan bau” yang benar-benar menggoda.

Jika dalam tradisionalnya “bau masakan yang tercipta dari apa yang kita masak” memunculkan sebuah nasihat untuk memberikan/menawarkan tetangga yang menciumnya, .. lalu, bagaimana dengan “bau” yang tercipta dalam kehidupan maya ini? Anis Bawesdan pernah bernasihat untuk mengupload foto-foto keberhasilan yang bisa melahirkan motivasi berkarya sebagai bentuk “tawaran masakan dari bau yang tercipta pada dunia maya”.

Seandainya, tetangga kita meminta haknya karena mencium “bau” dari masakan “yang ter/di unggah” pada beranda akun kita, bagaimana kita harus memberikan sebagian dari hak-nya itu?

-HM York, 14 Mei 2013

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