Testing Our Students – The Results Are In!

For this weeks tech task, my google survey was on methods of testing our students in the classroom. I asked for feedback on what my peers believed that the best way to test for student knowledge was. The choices were, multiple choice, short answer, true or false, essay question, matching or other. After a whopping 10 replies, the results are in! Short answer wins with seven, three for essay questions, two went with the other option saying inquiry projects, and another other option was answered as hands on tasks.

I was happy with the results because multiple choice was not answered once… thank goodness! Testing my future students is something that I have mixed feelings about. I think that when a teacher creates a test they must do their best to keep in mind what is the best way for the students to show what they know. I was inspired to make my survey on this topic because last week I wrote a midterm in another one of my spring classes. It was comprised of 40 multiple choice questions and three short answer questions. I always struggle with the use of multiple choice questions because I really do not truly believe that is the best indicator of what someone knows on the topic. I have written many tests over my 4 years in University, and it never fails that I will struggle with the multiple choice portion of the exam. I often find myself frustrated because I feel that I could write a ton of information regarding the concept being questioned in the multiple choice question, yet I struggle with deciding which is the “most appropriate” answer. I also get frustrated with exams when I feel that I know much more on the topic then I was allowed to show by answering the questions. As a result, I struggle with considering what will be the best way for me to assess what my students know. One option that I have considered is giving the students a blank piece of paper with the topic at the top, then ask the students the in whatever way worked for them (jot notes, writing, drawing, lists, etc.) tell you what they know. This is just one idea of many that are possible to find ways to test your students knowledge in ways that truly measure what they know.

Overall, I was pleased with the results of the survey and am glad that my peers, who are also future educators, are considering what is best for the students when creating tests.

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One thought on “Testing Our Students – The Results Are In!

  1. I agree with you Jane that students should have option in how they present there knowledge. What works for one student may not for the next. In an inclusive classroom we give students choice on how they want to do there work, where they want to sit, etc….so why don’t we do the same when it comes times for testing. I’m not even sure if I like calling it ‘testing’. That kind of gives me anxiety just hearing the word test. I think we should call it ‘methods to show how one can apply there knowledge’ instead. When you factor in the anxiety that many students go through during testing, testing sometimes ends up been about a child’s ability to take a test, not there ability to show what they know.

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