Kali ini sy tak ingin plin-plan lagi. Sy tak kan lagi memajang Opini ter-tgl pasca-Lebaran. Sy ingin menikmati “Pensiun ke-2 saya”. Tapi sy masih tetap di lokasi yg sama, tak jauh dari keg “Chattingan Opini” kelompok elite (penulis, peneliti, cendekiawan). Sy ingin koleksi Opini sy bisa dinikmati secara gratis di perpus2 kampus. Saya berharap akan ada Komunitas Opini yg menyediakan layanan opini kpd anggotanya, yg memungkinkan tiap orang bisa meng-copy Opini di perpus2 secara gratis. Mau bantu?
Sabtu, 13 April 2013
The exam’s new system : One step forward, two steps back
new system :
forward, two steps back
Setiono Sugiharto ; An Associate Professor at Atma Jaya Catholic University,
Chief-Editor of the
Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching
POST, 13 April 2013
year, more than three million senior high schools students and vocational
schools are expected to participate in the annually-held national exam —
popularly known as the National Examinations (UN) — that is slated to
kick off on April 15.
different from the previous year, this year’s UN will be held under a new
system. The question sheets have been designed in the form of 20 dissimilar
packages, with each containing completely different versions of
then takes the same exam with a different version of questions. Through
this new system, students are expected to focus on answering their own
questions and more importantly cheating and other possible fraud
committed during the exams can be prevented.
year’s system, the new system is indeed one step forward because it is
more likely to curb cheating, although no one can be sure that cheating
will not recur.
It should be
apparent here that what is new in this year’s UN system concerns
technicalities, that it is an anticipation of possible students’
cheating, which caused an uproar last year.
Thus, this is
a solution to the technical, if not trivial, problem, but does not
address more substantial problems of the final exam often voiced by
What both the
past and current systems have always ignored is the extent to which the
national exam, as a large-scale standardized test, yields positive
pedagogical effects on students and teachers and the extent to which it
is accountable in the eyes of the public at large.
a test intended to measure students’ learning achievements must yield to
beneficial effects on learning (technically called washback effects).
This suggests that a test such as the exam must arouse and motivate
students’ further learning to their own advantage.
allow students to monitor their own learning strategies, provide
corrective feedback to these strategies, and aid retention and transfer
of what has been learnt. In essence, the exam must allow students to
the accountability factor should not be deliberately dismissed from the
exam. This is especially true, given that this state-sponsored exam
belongs in the category of a high-stake exam, the obtained scores of
which have been used to make crucial pedagogical decisions.
accountability also entails fairness and the inclusion of a code of
ethics, which includes, among other things, respect for humanity,
prevention of the misuse of knowledge and skills, commitment to the
integrity of the community and the mindfulness of obligations to society
(Crusan, 2010). Thus, the results of the test have far-reaching
implications, not limited to educational context only.
witnessed that whatever pedagogical paradigms (manifested in the
curriculum) we have been adhering to in the national education system,
the state-mandated UN always withstands the test of time.
strong, repeated resistance against it, it is highly likely to be used as
the sole standardized test under the much-debated 2013 curriculum in
years to come.
it will be used, the fiercest criticism the final exam will face is
related to how the unobservable qualities (constructs) highlighted in the
basic competence in the new curriculum can be tested using a single
instrument measurement (i.e. the UN).
seems that the feasibility or practicality of the national exam over its
validity and reliability will still be the prime consideration for its
continued use in the future.
test (or assessment), however, should not always be in the form of a
standardized large-scale test like that of the exam. Assessment experts
and researchers concur that this kind of test often does more harm than
instead a more situated, context-specific, and locally designed test.
Contrary to a larger-scale test that is detached and often has no clear
pedagogical benefits, locally developed tests are more
test-taker-friendly as their design or construction often envisions the
real contextual factors such as the instructional learning goals,
teaching materials used and the cultural and social milieu of the
institution where the students learn. This will surely help attain the
intended, positive washback effects.
more, the accessibility to obtain information such as the contents of
materials to be covered in the test, the format of the test, and the
scoring criteria used are made easier and relatively transparent to
test-takers and other stakeholders, hence its public accountability.
All of these
features are clearly missing in a widely-used standardized large-scale
test like the national exam.●