Samstag, 21. Januar 2012

thought a week - designing a test, englishman or mathematician?

Even though I didn't have the opportunity to design a test for school yet, I had the pleasure to be the part of the thinking process several times.
Two weeks ago we talked about designing a written test for the first grade.
It was a little different from the last planning session I was part of. This time it was supposed to be a shorter test, it should take no more than 25 minutes. The last time we designed one it was way more more extensive - the test lasted an hour.
But the two main differences I took away from both planning session was that the teaching background does have a pretty big impact on the design of the test, the evaluation and the basic instructions.
For me, you can divide the test forms by your teaching background. Here’s a look at the two:

Englishman-background (mostly language teachers): they’re used to do creative writing, a lot of dialogues and reading in their lessons.
These methods give the kids more freedom to be creative, but you still can lead them on to various topics you like to work on. Now because of this, you can’t really have a standardized grading-scheme. You have to take a lot of things into account while marking; the length, the depth, grammar and so on.
These tests tend to be very open with a lot of writing.

Mathematician-background: these types of teachers are used to work methodically and with strict rules, so the outcome is always easily calculable and verifiable.
Because of this previous knowledge they tend to design the questions in various styles, but always in the same pattern. For some examples:
The kids have to match the first part of a sentence in column A with the second part in column B, or the kids or the kids have to tick “right” or “wrong” in a chart.
Most of the time these tests are very systematical and methodical.

Both of these options have their pros and cons, but one thing they share is that both of them are hard work.
For one thing you have to think about questions and tasks where they answer it with a logical, mathematical sense, and for the other you have to read through all the different versions of a dialogue or story.

It’s not mandatory to be on only one side, you can pick and choose depending on your topic and the kids. But it’s good to think about why we think about designing a test a certain way.

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen