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Panel 15. New forms of feedback and assessment in translation and interpreting training and industry

Since translation and interpreting established themselves as professions and as academic disciplines, both the translation industry and the academic setting have evolved swiftly as a consequence of the significant changes affecting professional translation and interpreting (Drugan, 2013: 185; Saldanha and O'Brien, 2014: 95) and the innovative approaches and concepts linked to the disciplines in recent decades. Inevitably, this has also resulted in new forms of feedback and assessment that are replacing more traditional ways to judge students' performance in translation and interpreting training as well as in the workplace. They include, for instance: diagnostic, summative and formative assessment, self-assessment, reflective diaries, translation commentaries and formative feedback by means of peer and self-assessment tasks (Hurtado Albir, 1999/2003, 2007, 2015; González Davies, 2004; Kelly, 2005; Way, 2008; Galán Mañas and Hurtado Albir, 2015; Huertas Barros and Vine, in press; Lisaité et al., in press). Providing students with valuable feedback and implementing effective forms of assessment and practices are therefore essential not only for maximising the teaching process but also for enhancing students' learning experience. Translation / interpreting trainees expect information about industry assessment practices and will need training to become future assessors themselves in their roles as revisers and reviewers, for instance (as provided in the European norm EN-15038:2006 and in the new international standard ISO 17100:2015). In other words, trainees will practise how to observe ranslation / interpreting performances and translated / interpreted texts / discourses and how to tactfully communicate to a peer how the process or the end result could be improved (feedback), and they will be trained to assign a certain mark out of a scale to a translation / interpreting performance (assessment).

Feedback and assessment is the point where many of the debates on translation and interpreting training and practice intersect. We welcome empirical contributions that will support theoretical frameworks for competence assessment in translation and interpreting training, whether they take a behavioural, sociocultural, emerging or other approach. With the aim of exploring the key theme further, we invite participants to consider, but not limit themselves to, the following topics:

  • Innovations in feedback and assessment in the translation and interpreting industry:
    • Application requirements and assessments
    • Employee training
    • Student trainee training in the industry: training period, work placements, etc.
    • Translation Quality Assessment: process/product, Dynamic Quality Framework (DQF) Multidimensional Quality Metrics (MQM), etc.
  • Innovations in feedback and assessment in translation and interpreting training:
    • Assessment criteria (adequacy/acceptability, individual learning paths), methods and instruments
    • Forms of assessment: diagnostic assessment, summative, formative assessment, selfassessment, etc.
    • Process-oriented vs product-oriented assessment models
    • Peer feedback and assessment models
    • Students’ reception and repercussion of different forms of feedback: formative feedback, directive feedback, facilitative feedback, teacher vs peer feedback, etc.

Preference will be given to papers that address the following questions: Which innovations in feedback and assessment practices in translation / interpreting training yield empirically tested better results than the traditional methods? How can feedback and assessment studies methodologies, such as surveys about feedback and assessment methods, experiments, and others be improved?

  • Name(s) of convener(s): Elsa Huertas Barros and Sonia Vandepitte
  • Affiliation: University of Westminster and Universiteit Gent
  • Email address: E.huertasbarros@westminster.ac.uk and Sonia.Vandepitte@UGent.be