Khadijah Janjua

Khadijah Jilani (Kashef Janjua)


College: College of Social Sciences and International Studies

I am a part-time student on the EdD (TESOL) programme at the University of Exeter (Dubai Campus); I’m just coming to the end of the pre-thesis phase. My academic background is quite varied: I have a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham (1989) and a master’s degree in Language Testing from Lancaster University (2013).

I started out my career working as a chemical engineer in the UK for several years, and it was only after I moved to Saudi Arabia in 2001 that I became interested in the field of education, particularly in assessment and language testing.

By 2009, I had taken up a position as assessment manager of a large EFL preparatory year programme at a university in Riyadh. The experience I gained in this role, as well as the master’s degree I took in Language Testing, created a strong personal interest in designing and researching effective instruments of assessment. A few years ago, while working as director of a foundation year English programme for health college students, I developed an instrument for assessing students – an ‘Assessment by Learning Event’ (ABLE) – that relies on a mixture of summative and formative assessment techniques. Its objective is to provide evidence of student learning in a low-stakes environment while simultaneously fostering the reinforcement of previous learning and the development of new skills. As such, it can be thought of as a pedagogical tool as well as an instrument for assessment. Earlier this year, I conducted an exploratory study into the perceptions of students and teachers towards the Assessment by Learning Event.

As well as my interest in alternative forms of assessment, I am also committed to researching ways of making traditional testing as fair and as meaningful as possible. I am currently working on a proposal for my EdD thesis research project which involves investigating possible rater bias in the assessment of oral production.