Gholam Reza Haji Pour Nezhad is head of the English department at the University of Social Welfare Sciences in Iran and an adjunct professor of English at the American University of Hawaii. He received his Ph.D. in TESOL from Tehran University in 2001. His research interests include applications of IRT to testing reading comprehension, the study of perceived complexity, and the use of structural equation modeling in complex designs. He was a panelist at the JALT2001 testing roundtable and was a presenter at the May 11-12, 2002 Conference on Language Testing in Asia. His publications are available online at www.geocities.com/g_hajipournezhad/.
[ p. 14 ]What these points show is we still have a good number of unresolved issues which invite us to consider whether defining fairness in this area is possible at all. It seems we have to improve our definitions of research in testing, and also our conceptualization of a code of ethics. However, is there a way out of such ethical dilemmas without being equipped with an impeccable code of practice in language testing? I think the best solution is presented by Hamp-Lyons and Prochnow's (1989) guideline: "no test-taker shall be harmed by the test." [p. 13.] I believe if we base our concepts of ethicality on this very simple principle in every testing situation and also base decisions on pooled judgment (to avoid individual subjective judgments), we will have paved most of the way toward ethical testing.