OWL Blog

MIIS Chooses OWL Testing Software

Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) Chooses OWL Testing Software for Language Assessment and Program Evaluation Expertise

MONTEREY, Calif. (Nov. 17, 2008) – For students studying the teaching of foreign languages at Monterey Institute of International Studies, there's more to their coursework than the standard grammar, linguistics, and pedagogical training. Emphasis at the Institute's renowned Graduate School of Language and Educational Linguistics expands beyond language expertise and teaching theory to include courses in language assessment.

A required Language Assessment course for students earning a Master of Arts in Teaching a Foreign Language (MATFL) or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MATESOL) focuses on language test reliability, validity, test bias, and ethics. Students examine differences and similarities among placement, proficiency, achievement, aptitude, and performance testing; along with exploring alternative evaluation procedures. What's more, an elective Computer-Assisted Assessment course specifically examines ways in which computer technology can enhance the validity of assessments, as well as the delivery and scoring of assessments. The tests—which include oral, aural, reading, and writing assessments—are developed using a Web-based tool from Pittsburgh-based OWL Testing Software.

"We use OWL Testing Software because it’s comprehensive, advanced, and flexible. It is user friendly, and the support we receive from the company is excellent." says Dr. Jean Turner, a professor at MIIS's GSLEL. Turner, who has a doctorate in applied linguistics, taught language at a variety of schools from 1976 to 1989 and has been teaching applied linguistics since.

"While many schools do a good job of preparing future language instructors, most do not place enough emphasis on the importance of assessments in the classroom. At MIIS, we want our students to understand what it means to create valid and defendable assessments and why this is such an important part of teaching."

OWL provides full functionality for the entire assessment cycle: authoring, scheduling, administering, rating, and reporting. Custom assessments are created using an intuitive online wizard and can include any number or combination of oral response, essays, cloze, completion, fill-in-the-blank, matching, multiple-choice, or short answer questions—incorporating text, graphics, audio, and video components.

In addition to measuring a student's oral proficiency, reading and listening comprehension, and comfort level communicating in the target language; the OWL test management system allows language instructors to establish baselines against which to measure their progress over time. What's more, the Web-based system may be used anywhere there's access to the Internet—providing flexibility across multiple offices or campuses, time zones, and even continents.

"OWL offers the only widely-available testing tool designed specifically for assessing all modes of communication through a single platform," says Chris Dalessandri, president and co-founder of OWL Testing Software. "We're very pleased to have the opportunity to showcase our cutting-edge assessment technology to the students at Monterey Institute of International Studies, who are some of the best and brightest language students from the United States and around the globe."

About Monterey Institute of International Studies
The Monterey Institute of International Studies, located in California, includes the Graduate School of International Policy Studies, the Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation, the Fisher Graduate School of International Business and the Graduate School of Language and Educational Linguistics, and enrolls some 780 students. The Institute also includes the internationally renowned James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies and Center for East Asian Studies. The Monterey Institute, which was founded in 1955, became an affiliate of Middlebury College in 2005. Additional information is available at www.miis.edu.

About OWL Testing Software
Founded in 1999, OWL Testing Software is a premier provider of affordable Web-based testing and assessment systems for academia, government, and business users. OWL’s intuitive test management system simplifies the unique and complex challenges of second language acquisition—including ESL and EFL programs—and is easily applied to any subject matter in education or the workplace. Learn more at www.owlts.com.