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Aligning EAP Assessments

An EAP in the North event held jointly by University of Dundee EIS and University of St Andrews ELT, with keynote speaker Dr Anthony Manning (University of Kent).


The term “constructive alignment” was originally introduced by higher education researcher John Biggs to refer to the alignment of intended learning outcomes, teaching/learning activities, and assessments. This approach to education is of relevance to EAP practitioners, who are often required to create assessments that align with learning outcomes covering English language and academic skills, which must in turn align with external frameworks such as the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).

This event will explore some of the challenges for EAP practitioners in aligning assessments and marking criteria with learning outcomes, external frameworks and contextual needs.

Keynote presentation

“How test specifications can support construct validity in EAP assessment” – Dr Anthony Manning

This session will provide an insight into the importance of construct validity and how the use of test specifications can be a useful tool for EAP practitioners. Creating and operationalising in-house tests or assessments for EAP is an important activity, given the range of stakeholders who might be involved or affected. The impact of a poorly-constructed test or an inaccurate measure of students’ proficiency might include the test-takers themselves as well as the institutions they will study with or the employers who might give them a job. This is why making an effort to strengthen the construct validity of tests or assessments is important and why assessment or test specifications are a useful tool to help guide this process.

Keynote speaker biography

Dr Anthony Manning (BA, MA, EdD, PGCE, PGCHE, PFHEA, FLF) is Dean for Internationalisation at University of Kent. He is also an experienced EAP practitioner and researcher, and author of “Assessing EAP: Theory and practice in Assessment Literacy”, which was recently published by Garnet Education.

Planned schedule

Phase 1

2pm to 3pm

Presentation by Dr Anthony Manning – “How test specifications can support construct validity in EAP assessment” – followed by Q&A.

Phase 2

3pm to 4pm

Several short presentations from/Q&A with EAP practitioners on experiences aligning assessments with learning outcomes, external frameworks and/or contextual needs.

Phase 3

4pm to 5pm

Participants share previous EAP assessments in groups and analyse/discuss from the perspective of alignment. The final 15 minutes will be used for the reporting back of instances of good practice, and general summary comments.

Event Registration

Register to "Aligning EAP Assessments" by Monday 27 August 2018.

Participants from any institution are welcome to join this event and are encouraged to bring with them a previously used (i.e. not live) EAP assessment, to share and discuss with peers during the final hour of the event.

There is no registration fee.

Event details

Date: Tuesday 04 September 2018

Venue: Room 2F11

Dalhousie building (number 14 in the campus map)
Old Hawkhill

Time: 2pm to 5pm

Call for additional presenters

We are seeking one or more practitioners from another institution to deliver a ten-minute presentation reflecting on experience aligning EAP assessments to learning outcomes. Interested parties should email a brief description of what they would like to present to Eoin Jordan ( and Amanda Shaw ( by Monday 20 August 2018 at the latest.