Voices Magazine Vol3 Issue 2

3 August - September 2019 | VOICES Bi-Monthly Magazine of the University of Technology, Jamaica Cont’d from page 1... Inaugural Professorial Lecture by Cynthia Onyefulu (l-r) Professor Colin Gyles, Deputy President, UTech, Ja., Ambassador Dada Olisa, Professor Cynthia Onyefulu, Her Excellency Mrs. Janet Olisa, High Commissioner of Nigeria to Jamaica, Mrs. Mercedes Deane, University Registrar, and Professor Waibinte Wariboko, Prof. Onyefulu’s husband and Professor of African Social History, University of the West Indies, share a moment following the Inaugural Professorial Lecture. The educational assessment specialist, who has conducted over 100 workshops and seminars on assessment practices, explained that the concept of assessment literacy, unlike standardized tests, and examinations, is used as a more accurate descriptor in gathering information about student learning and understanding, in order to guide instructional decisions and to improve achievement outcomes. The methodology seeks to determine an individual’s true score through techniques established in psychometric theory and classical test theory (CTT). Professor Onyefulu posited that in the Jamaican education system many teachers have little training in using such assessment literacy tools to guide their instructional decisions and therefore tend to focus more on standardized testing. She explained that since traditional testing carries margins of error and questions of validity and reliability, assessment literacy becomes a vital tool for reducing those margins of error. She argued for an enhanced assessment literacy framework that accounts for the engagement of multiple stakeholders, namely policymakers, teachers, students, and parents. In this regard, Professor Onyefulu suggested opportunities such as the establishment of a cohort of assessment leaders in each of the regions designated by the Ministry of Education and the establishment of assessment literacy clinics in each of these regions. She also called for the incorporation of training seminars and workshops for assessment and ongoing short courses in educational assessment for teachers either in person or online. Other speakers at the lecture were Professor Stephen Vasciannie, President, UTech, Jamaica and Dr. Gareth Phillips, Acting Dean, FELS who brought greetings. The President heaped praises and congratulations on Professor Onyefulu for her achievement in teaching and research both at the graduate and undergraduate levels and for her willingness to “go well beyond the call of duty in the interest of the University,” noting that her appointment to professorship was the culmination of twenty-two years of hard work and dedication to the University. Dr. Leonie Clarke, Associate Professor, FELS, moved the vote of thanks, while Chairman’s duties were ably led by former Dean and Associate Professor, Dr. Rohan Lewis.