Last week we were discussing student achievement vs. student learning and how we test students in the classroom. This really made me think of what is better for the student. It is so easy to write a test in which that test is not a clear determination what the student learned. In the classroom it is important to find a clear way to assess and evaluate your students learning.
What is the best way to evaluate and assess a student?? Common testing methods include true/false, multiple choice, and essay form. True/false is a poor way of testing as no matter what a student has a 50/50 chance of being right. Multiple choice can be ok as long as you are simple and direct in your question. Essay is good because it shows exactly what the student is thinking, but as well as this it is also the test that takes the longest to grade (something BYU isn't always a fan of).
I think about myself and testing. I am not a very good test taker. I am typically much better at essay question type tests, although I hate them as well because they are the tests that require the most time, effort, and studying. When writing tests for our own classes, we need to consider the different ways to test them and make sure we are clear in what we want so we can try to be as effective as possible when teaching them. Here is a list of some general rules for when making a test:
simple and direct wording
avoid trivial items
match items to learning out comes
each item has an agreed upon correct answer
write more questions than you will need
avoid the use of negatives
Enough information to answer the question
Direct questions preferred
Blanks at the end of the test
Include words repeated in all responses
Provide constraints: time, etc.
3-5 per item
Avoid “all of the above” and none of the above
Grammatically correct with stem
Similar length and structure
Avoid absolute words
Listed in a logical order
Distracters should be plausible, can use cliché, use partial answers
Group items by type
Sort items by increasing difficulty
Review layout and pagination
Write answer key
Wait to grade-and all at once (or same conditions).