Mapping the Strategies of Evaluation as Employed by the English Language Faculty Instructors at the Palestinian Universities & Higher Education Institutions

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Nidal Jayousi / Supervisor
Dr. Anwar Abd-Alraziq / External Examiner
Dr. Suzaane Arafat / Internal Examiner
Dr. Soheil Salha / Internal Examiner
Dr. Nidal Jayousi / Supervisor
Ghada Hamdan
This study aimed at mapping the common evaluation practices employed by the English language faculty members at all Palestinian universities in the West Bank and Gaza. The study investigated the faculty members’ preferences among various evaluation tools. Along with the evaluation practices, the underlying instructional practices were explored to trace their effect on evaluation practices. In addition, students’ views about faculty members’ instructional and evaluation practices were surveyed in order to recognize students’ rights and significant roles in the evaluation process. The study examined the effects of the following variables on the instructors’ practices (professional qualifications, experience, gender, age and interest in modern pedagogy). On the students’ side, the variables of the major discipline of English (whether it is English Language & Literature, Translation or TEFL) and the type of university (whether it is public or private) were examined. This study was conducted at all Palestinian universities in the West Bank and Gaza in the academic year (2015-2016). The sample of the study is a stratified random. It consisted of (166) instructors and (400) students from the two populations. The percent of instructors’ sample is (75.4 %) and the percent of students’ sample is (26.6 %) of the whole population. Two questionnaires were distributed; one for faculty members at all universities, and the other for majors of English at An-Najah National University in Nablus and at the Arab American University in Jenin. The results suggest that conventional practices in lecturing and testing are common among Palestinian faculty members. Concerning the preferences of evaluation tools, formal testing is the faculty members’ most-rated choice. There are significant differences among the faculty members attributed to academic qualifications, experience, age and gender, but no significant differences are attributed to the faculty members’ interest in modern pedagogy. Majors of English, Translation and TEFL in both universities have moderate views regarding their instructors’ performances in instruction and evaluation. However, there are significant differences among students attributed to the type of university in favor of the private university, and the major discipline in favor of the Translation major. In the light of the results of the study, faculty members are recommended to reconsider their practices, embrace training and experiment with modern evaluation pedagogies to tailor practices according to students’ needs. They are invited to attempt a balance between institutional restrictions and students’ best interests, open channels of communication with students and listen to their suggestions and criticism, involve them in the evaluation process and establish enlightened assessment culture at the English department that can put together academics’ efforts to respond to the highly diverse educational needs of foreign language teaching.
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