KOTESOL 2019 National Conference

Jack C. Richards

University of Sydney | University of Auckland | Victoria University

Onnuri • Onnuri Hall • 15:00

Jack C. Richards(University of Sydney | University of Auckland | Victoria University)

Talk / Product & Process in Course Evaluation

There are two ways of thinking about course evaluation. One is the dominant approach in educational planning that considers evaluation as a set of activities to develop efficient and effective ways of achieving learning outcomes. The rigor with which course development is carried out – drawing on procedures that include needs analysis, planning learning outcomes, designing a course and syllabus framework, and using effective methods of teaching and learning – will determine the success of the outcomes. Curriculum processes are seen as ways of bringing order, control, and direction into language teaching and language course design. From this perspective, evaluation is viewed as essential to maintaining the quality and success of a language program.

The alternative approach to evaluation can be described as process evaluation and focuses more on the values that the curriculum reflects and how the curriculum is realized through the procedures and activities of teaching and learning. From this perspective, evaluation has very different goals. Its goal is exploration and understanding. This view of evaluation is inquiry-based and is concerned with knowledge building, with understanding, and with explanation. The goal is less diagnoses and improvement and more on a holistic exploration of teaching in context.. This is a sociocultural approach to evaluation in which classrooms are seen to have a rich life that unfolds over time, as events and processes interact and shape the way participants think, feel, and act.

Both approaches to evaluation will be described and compared in this paper: effectiveness-oriented evaluation which will be characterized as product-focused evaluation, and the alternative approach as process-focused evaluation.

About Jack

Jack Richards has had an active career in the Asia Pacific region and is currently an honorary professor in the faculty of education at the University of Sydney and at the University of Auckland and an Adjunct Professor at Victoria University. He is a frequent presenter worldwide and has written over 150 books and articles on language teaching as well as many widely used classroom texts including the Interchange and Four Corners series.

Recent publications include:

  • Jack Richards’ 50 Tips for Teacher Development (Cambridge)
  • Key Issues in Language Teaching (Cambridge)
  • Curriculum Development in Language Teaching 2nd edition (Cambridge)
  • Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching 3rd edition (Cambridge)
  • Language Learning Beyond the Classroom (with David Nunan, Routledge)
  • Creativity in Language Teaching (with Rodney Jones, Routledge)

Jack has active interests in music and arts and supports a number of scholarship programs. In the musical domain he has commissioned numerous works by New Zealand composers.

In 2014 the Jack C Richards Decorative Arts Gallery was opened at the Tairawhiti Museum, Gisborne New Zealand. In 2011 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of literature by Victoria University, Wellington, for his services to education and the arts and in 2014 received the Award for Patronage from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand. In March 2016 the International TESOL organization as part of their 50th anniversary honored Jack Richards as one of the 50 TESOL specialists worldwide to have made a significant impact on language teaching in the last 50 years.