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The English 30-1 Diploma Exam: Assessment practices and pedagogy Open Access


Other title
Diploma Exam
English language arts
High stakes testing
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Melnyk, Tracy
Supervisor and department
Johnston, Ingrid (Secondary Education)
Examining committee member and department
Wiltse, Lynne (Elementary Education)
Johnston, Ingrid (Secondary Education)
Iveson, Margaret (Secondary Education)
Department of Secondary Education

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Education
Degree level
Across the province of Alberta, in the January 2010 sitting of the Government mandated English Language Arts 30-1 diploma exam, the average grade for this exam was 62%. Serious concerns erupted because of this drop in mark, concerns that led to my research study. The purpose of this research was to explore how senior high school English Language Arts 30-1 teachers taught and assessed their English Language Arts 30-1 course, and if the English Language Arts 30-1 final assessment of the Diploma Exam exerted pressures on their assessment practices and pedagogy. The question explored was: “How do English 30-1 diploma exams influence teacher assessment practices and pedagogy?” My study found that the English Language Arts 30-1 Diploma Exam influenced the way English Language Arts 30-1 teachers teach and similarly controlled the way teachers assess student work in this high-stakes course. This study recommends that the current weight of the diploma exam be reconsidered to benefit the grade 12 students in the province of Alberta.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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