Thursday, 16 May 2013

Testing, Testing... Can you hear me now?

At the conclusion of a large unit in science on the Human Body we had a semi-traditional assessment to measure our students' learning.  Judy and I had previously designed a cut, sort, paste test in another subject with great results.  We felt, and the students commented that by not having to write as much they were more motivated to complete the test, and the cutting and pasting allowed them to arrange their thoughts, check their answers prior to gluing them down, AND cutting and pasting for a test was more fun!

Now there was a lot of information to cover in this unit so it was a lot of cutting and pasting.  The results on the test were mostly great.  Well over half of the students scored As and the rest had solid Bs, except for 5 or 6 that failed terribly, like not even close.  What happened?  So we decided to re-test these students.  It turns out they were confused and/or a little lazy in completing the test with its different format.

The re-test was an oral test/discussion where we met one on one with the students.  The results were eye opening.  Four of the students scored As (3 perfects) demonstrating they had definitely learned the material well.  That's what we thought as we felt we'd really nailed the unit!

It was a strong lesson/reminder to allow for variety in how kids demonstrate their learning.  If an assessment does not go well for a student then follow up is needed and often the most efficient way is to talk with them and find out what they really do know.

Post courtesy of Kent Percevault

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