The brief for this project, as commissioned by Ofqual, was to research and write a set of theoretical and methodological guidelines that should be followed by assessment developers and regulators when checking the principles of paper modification and their impact on learners taking the National Curriculum Assessments in the United Kingdom.
The Regulatory Framework for National Assessments (2011) in the UK proposed that National Curriculum Assessments should be:
- appropriate to age of the test takers
- an effective measure of their abilities, skills and concept development
- fair to all irrespective of gender, language, religion, ethnic or social origin or disability.
The rationale for this Language Accessibility Guidance is that 'fairness' is based on language. This is the means of expression within National Curriculum Assessments, and it is the means by which the performance of those who undertake the assessments is judged. The key question, therefore, was how such 'fairness' could be assured. This required a thorough search of the literature to explore the effects on performance of examination candidates of various aspects of language accessibility (readability).
- Janan, D. & Wray, D. (2011) Principles of language accessibility for test developers in charge of writing test items for National Curriculum Assessments: Ofqual paper 11/4855. Coventry: Ofqual
- Janan, D. & Wray, D. (2012) Guidance on the Principles of Language Accessibility in National Curriculum Assessments: Research Background. Coventry: Ofqual
- Janan, D. & Wray, D. (2012) Guidance on the Principles of Language Accessibility in National Curriculum Assessments. Coventry: Ofqual
- Wray, D. & Janan, D. (2013) Readability factors and assessment tasks. Online Educational Research Journal, Vol. 4 (1), available at http://www.oerj.org
- Wray, D. & Janan, D. (2013) ‘Exploring the Readability of Assessment Tasks: The Influence of Text and Reader Factors’, REMIE: Multidisciplinary Journal of Educational Research.