Minutes
MwALT Business Meeting
9/20/2008 at the University of Iowa Conference Center, Iowa City

 

About 20 were present at the MwALT business meeting, held at the close of the conference about 5:15pm. The 2007 Minutes were read and approved as written.

Future Meetings:  The 2009 Meeting will be at the University of Purdue, November 7, 2009 with April Ginther as organizer.  2010 will be at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, organized by Deborah Crusan. (Next year we hope institutions wanting to host will make proposals for 2011 and 2012)

Treasurer’s Report: Pedro Cordova reported a balance of $4,713.40 (before any expenses from this year’s conference) Lidget Green Inc. were thanked for their donation of $100. Annual memberships were collected at the meeting, but not many this year. Participants were reminded that the idea was that annual dues would accumulate and be used to fund conferences that were not self-supporting and we wanted to have enough in the bank to be able to cover 2 lean years. As encouragement, Lidget Green Inc had donated products for a raffle for those who paid their annual dues this year, and will do that next year as well.

Student Representatives:  were thanked for their hard work and a new student committee was elected for next year, which included the 4 previous members present + one from U of Iowa and one from Michigan State.
Lin Gu, U of Iowa,                                                              lin-gu@uiowa.edu
Ching-Ni Hsieh, Michigan State,                                      hsiehc12@msu.edu
Haiying Cao, Purdue University                                       caoh@purdue.edu
Lixia Cheng, Purdue University                                        clixia@purdue.edu
Forest Platzek, University of Lancaster                          forest@lidgetgreen.org
Erik Voss, Iowa State University                                      evoss@iastate.edu

Elections:  Next year there will be elections for all new officers, president, treasurer, secretary and member at large

Awards: There was extensive discussion of all the MwALT awards on our books.
The Best Paper given by a student at the annual meeting award has been given each year since 2001. The guidelines state that the paper must be given by one or a group of current students. If a professor’s name is on the presentation, the student is not eligible. Only 3 papers today met those guidelines though several other papers had been delivered by students. It was not clear if participants knew this award existed when submitting proposals. It was decided to clearly announce all MwALT awards and their guidelines on the website and in the call for papers.
The Grad student Award for excellence in language assessment research has never been given, though it has been publicized a couple of years by Barb Dobson, the member at large. She never received any nominations and thought the timing might be off for the faculty nominators. It was decided to change the nomination due date to May 15, so nominated papers could be written in either fall or spring semesters, and the nomination would also be before professors disappeared for the summer. It was also decided that the conference organizer rather than the member at large would be in charge of publicity and soliciting nominations. The winner will be required to attend the next conference and present a paper on their research, and their registration fee will be waived.
The Classroom Teacher Award for Excellence in Language Assessment has never been publicized or given. It dates from the beginning of MwALT when we had hoped K-12 teachers would be excited about and attend our meetings. It was decided to broaden the scope of this award and change its purpose to “The purposeof this award is to recognize a teacher for excellence in language assessment.” Again, the winner would attend the conference without a registration fee and describe their assessment project or practice. The conference organizer will be in charge of publicity and nominations.
There was discussion about giving monetary awards in addition to certificates and books, but no conclusions were reached. In addtion there was discussion about trying to increase the number of exhibitors as a means of increasing revenue and attendance. However it was felt that would also lead to increased expenses since a larger conference venue would be needed.

Other Business: Members were asked to consider enlarging the MwALT geographic area to include Texas since there is no similar group in the South or South West. It will be brought up again next year for possible action.
After again enthusiastically  thanking the conference organizers and helpers, invited plenary presenters, presenters and attendees for a highly successful conference and enjoyable day, the meeting was adjourned about 6:15pm

Submitted by Felicity Douglas, MwALT Secretary

Pictures from the 2008 Conference in Iowa City!


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