Dr. Rashid Al Maamari

English Curriculum Consultant at Sultan Qaboos University

Dr. Rashid Al Maamari has obtained his BA in Teaching English from Sultan Qaboos University in 2001, his MA in Teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP) from the University of Warwick (UK) in 2003, and his PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Melbourne (Australia) in 2016. He has been teaching English at tertiary level for the past twenty years. He has conducted extensive research and training workshops in English Language Assessment.

He has presented at various national and international conferences such as ALTAANZ, Oman International Conference and ICCTAR. His research interests are teacher cognition, language assessment, curriculum design, revision and evaluation, test writing and evaluation, Computer Assisted Language Learning, Artificial Intelligence based language assessment.

* Schedule: Dr. Al Maamari will be participating in the general session panel “How to Choose the Best Products for the Greatest Student Learning Outcomes” on Friday, March 5th 12:15-1:00 pm MST.

Dr. Rashid will also be presenting a breakout session titled “Teacher cognition and classroom-based assessment: A study into the impact of teachers’ beliefs on their classroom assessment practices“.

Breakout Session Description: The impact of teachers’ beliefs on their educational practices has been widely acknowledged by previous research especially in the field of ESL. Indeed, reviewing the literature on teachers’ belief and formative assessment has revealed that much of the research conducted in formative assessment (FA) has focused on how it should be understood and used, with very little emphasis on how teachers actually understand it and what types of beliefs they hold about it. The current study therefore was conducted to explore the impact of teachers’ beliefs on their FA practices in a tertiary EFL context. 

The study was conducted in the Language Centre (LC) at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and it utilized a mixed methods approach to investigate the impact of the beliefs of 127 EFL teachers on their FA practices. The study also attempted to identify the factors responsible for the formation and change of teachers’ beliefs and determine whether teachers shared the same understanding and perceptions of FA as those of their students.

The findings of the study showed that LC teachers mostly shared similar beliefs about the importance of FA for their teaching and their students’ learning, the implementation, standardization, validity, reliability and teachers’ noncompliance with institution’s FA standards. It was found that the formation and change of these beliefs were attributed to several belief formation factors such as contextual factors, institutional policy, pre-service training programs, teaching experience and experience as school students, collegial influence, in-service professional training and personal research. The study also revealed a relatively high consistency between teachers’ beliefs and their FA practices and provided evidence for the instability of teachers’ beliefs about FA. In addition, it was found that teachers and students mostly held consistent beliefs about the different aspects of FA such as purpose, interpretation of instructions and criteria, expectations and task fulfillment, use of feedback from FA and fairness of assessment. Where this was not the case, reasons for inconsistency were identified and discussed in light of current theory on teachers’ beliefs and FA. This study contributes to the advancement of knowledge and skills in the areas of teachers’ beliefs and FA through various practical, theoretical and methodological implications. Also, by initiating a deep investigation based on a methodologically sound mixed methods approach, this study constitutes a solid baseline for prospective research investigating teachers’ beliefs about assessment in EFL contexts.