How to incorporate assessment literacy into module design and delivery

Juliet Vine and Elsa Huertas Barros, University of Westminster

Assessment is a crucial aspect of any module. However, assessment continues to be an aspect of their learning experience which students express most dissatisfaction with in the NSS. The HEA has prioritised improvement in assessment practices and set out six tenets for good practice. One of these is that assessment literacy should be explicitly addressed in the module design and delivery. 

Assessment literacy is an understanding of all aspects of assessment, so that students are clear about what assessments are and what criteria will be used; and how to apply these to their own work. Students need to be given the chance to make evaluative judgements about the quality of their own work to give them an understanding of what is expected of them and allow them to be self-regulated learners. The ability to evaluate their own work is necessary not only while at university but for lifelong learning. 

Addressing assessment literacy ensures transparency of assessment processes for both tutors and students. By explicitly addressing assessment criteria, both tutors and students can be confident that the assessments are valid and reliable. For institutions to be transparent, those responsible for assessment will need to reflect on their tacit understandings of the process and in shared communities of practice expose them to scrutiny and together construct shared agreed understandings (Huertas Barros and Vine, 2019). 

This workshop is conceived as an exercise to demonstrate not only how important it is to have clear and transparent assessment criteria which are a valid reflection of the task they set out to assess, but also how important it is to address and discuss this aspect more explicitly with students. Research by ASKe (Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange, n.d) has shown that students who have had the opportunity to practice applying the assessment criteria to a piece of work and thus have increased assessment literacy improve their performance of the tasks set. 

The workshop will start with a brief discussion of increasingly prevalent terms and themes in current debates on assessment practices, e.g. ‘assessment literacy’, ‘assessment for learning’, ‘assessment as learning’. Following the introductory discussion, the workshop will model the type of intervention which ASKe suggests all tutors should undertake before setting assessed tasks. Participants will be given a piece of work from a discipline other than translation and asked to suggest criteria to assess it. They will then be given a set of criteria and will compare the criteria with the ones they suggested. The criteria will then be applied to the piece of work and finally the mark and comments given by the tutor will be given and compared to the marks that participant gave. 

This practical session will aim to demonstrate that students who have a greater assessment literacy and fully understand the criteria and processes involved in assessing a particular piece of work will be better equipped to apply this knowledge to the work that that they or others have completed. The workshop will also suggest ways to integrate assessment literacy into course design.


From vicious circle to virtuous circle: Simulated translation bureaus in translator training

Joost Buysschaert, Ghent University
Gys-Walt van Egdom, Utrecht University
María Fernández-Parra, Swansea University/Prifysgol Abertawe

How can one obtain professional experience without a job and how can one obtain a job without professional experience? This is a common conundrum for graduates wishing to embark on a professional career. For translation students, one method to overcome this vicious circle is to enrol on a “simulated translation bureau” (STB) module at their university, where students set up and run their own (fictitious) translation agency for credit. In this type of module, “students acquire hands-on knowledge and skills through immersion” and personal experience (Buysschaert et al, forthcoming). 
This workshop proposes to explore in detail the possibilities of introducing this method of translator training in tertiary education, alongside any other modules or methods of instruction offered. Of course, this collaborative model poses a number of challenges for translator trainers, which will be discussed, but this workshop also aims to show that students may be able to break said vicious circle by demonstrating on their CVs that they have acquired a wide range of the skills needed in the workplace besides translation. STB experience stands students in good stead when they apply for internships, project management posts, etc. 
The workshop will start by introducing participants to an existing UK example of STB (Swansea), as a point of departure for discussion. Participants will learn about the organization of the STB, the challenges of implementation, the role of the coordinator, assessment arrangements, etc. Therefore, this workshop will be of particular interest to any institution interested in introducing STB’s into their translator training curriculum but also to any institution already offering STB’s and wishing to gain new insights. 
In the second part of the workshop, participants will also be introduced to INSTB, the International Network of Simulated Translation Bureaus (, which allows member institutions to “share” projects. In other words, “student project managers” in one member institution may commission translation jobs to “student project managers” in another institution or “student revisors” in one member institution may revise / review translations made by a “student translator” in another institution. However, INSTB also aims at sharing best practices and resources among the lecturers of the member institutions. Collaborating in networks such as INSTB will add an international dimension to the students’ work. For a more detailed overview of how this translation pedagogy method is applied in the current member institutions and its variations, see INSTB (2017). 
At the end of the workshop, participants will have collected all the tips and information they will need should they wish to introduce a simulated translation bureau in their institutions and consider applying for INSTB membership. Throughout the workshop, an emphasis can be placed on any particular aspect of this type of holistic translator training in which participants may be interested, but the workshop will also highlight the substantial and long-lasting benefits of this model, in a bid to invite national and international collaboration among universities and thus expand the scope of authentic experiential learning for translators.

Conceptualization and operationalization of intercultural communication (IC) for translators

Daniel Tomozeiu, University of Westminster​

The presentation uses data from three different studies in which the author has been involved in the period 2011-present. Together the three studies address the following questions: why do we need IC for translators? what is IC for translators? and how do we teach IC for translators? Two of the studies have been finalized and published while the third is currently under way. The quantitative data related to the conceptualization of IC for translators and current classroom practices comes from the Promoting Intercultural Competence in Translators project ( The qualitative analysis is part of a second study comparing in detail the conceptualization of IC for translators in the UK and Poland, published in a special issue of TranslatoLogica in October 2017. Finally, the qualitative data relating to the UK is derived from a third study, currently underway. This focuses on conceptualization of IC for translators. The short presentation will be followed by a practical workshop highlighting materials that can be used in teaching and assessing IC for translators. 


For an overview of the topic see: Tomozeiu D., Koskinen, K. and d’Arcangelo A. 2016. “Teaching intercultural competence in translator training”, Interpreter and Translator Trainer, 10:3, 251-267

The ins and outs of teaching translation on a distance learning mode

Begoña Rodríguez de Céspedes, University of Portsmouth​

Distance Learning courses offer their participants the chance to study anywhere in the world, they are open to students of any age, and they offer flexibility in terms of family and work commitments. This mode of learning is particularly suited to young graduates who cannot afford moving from their homes to carry out post-graduate studies. Thinking global is the way forward in terms of employment and study. This workshop is aimed at academics who are about to embark on preparation of materials for their distance learning courses. Colleagues who are already involved in teaching distance learning are also welcome to attend so that best practices across disciplines can be shared.

Teaching translation technologies – more than just clicks and menus

Dragoș  Ciobanu and Alina Secară, University of Leeds​

This workshop will discuss teaching translation technologies as part of the much broader aim of preparing students for the multifaceted challenges of the language services industry. We will argue that the wide range of online resources currently available is a useful starting point, but needs to be integrated within meaningful, motivating and memorable tasks that need to be repeated and monitored continuously using a broad range of parameters. 
The workshop participants will be invited to engage with the various aspects associated with these tasks: choosing the tools to teach, designing realistic and challenging projects, finding project partners, selecting source materials, assigning students tasks, tracking student progress, assessing student performance (both by tutors and peers) and providing constructive feedback. Moreover, the participants will also see how psychometric testing and Social Network Analysis (SNA) could be used to prepare our students more thoroughly for the language services market. 
The workshop is aimed at translation technology trainers interested in discussing the pros and cons of using project-based approaches, as well as translation trainers considering introducing translation technologies in traditional translation classes.


© 2017 by Association of the Programmes of Translation and Interpreting Studies UK & Ireland