Video-Mediated Listening Passages and Typed Note-Taking: Examining Their Effects on Examinee Listening Test Performance and Item Characteristics.

Cubilo, Justin L.
Second Language Studies
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Technology has created many implications for second language (L2) listening assessment, particularly as it relates to the role of visuals and typed note-taking. However, while previous research has investigated the effects of visuals and typed note-taking on listening test performance, the results of these studies have been contradictory at best, with research indicating that visuals and note typing both help and hinder performance. Therefore, the present study was designed to further investigate the role that visual and note-taking conditions have on L2 listening comprehension and item performance. Two hundred L2 English learners participated in this study with each participant being randomly assigned to one of eight experimental groups in which they took two forms of a listening test exposing them to each of the input (video-based versus audio-only) and note-taking (handwritten versus typed) conditions. Data consisted of the test scores for the overall test, subscores for items targeting different listening subskills, and responses to an open-ended survey asking participants about their personal preferences for and perceptions of the different conditions. Results revealed no significant effect of input or note-taking on overall test scores or on item difficulty. While items were slightly more difficult in video and typing conditions, these results did not significantly contribute to item performance. A path analysis investigating the relative relationship between input and note-taking conditions on listening subskills found that video made significant contributions to participants’ abilities to identify details in the listening which potentially affected participants’ abilities to identify the main ideas of the listening and make inferences. Qualitative analyses showed that participants preferred video-based listening texts and that note-taking preference tended to be a matter of comfort. The findings offer several important implications for the development of L2 listening tests. While video may not significantly contribute to listening scores, it may impact certain listening skills, which may be grounds for using video-based passages. Additionally, while typed note-taking did not appear to impact scores, it did provide a sense of comfort to some participants, indicating that its affective benefits may be a reason for allowing test takers to take notes in this way.
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