Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Testing the Test

Yesterday we talked about the Medieval Assessment and what the kids should expect. I used the presentation linked here to make points about what learning should be taking place in class. We talked about content questions and thinking questions. We talked about why, on a test, kids are being asked random facts about history when most have a device in front of them with which they can find those answers in ten seconds. It makes no sense.

On the Medieval Assessment, we are going to "test the test". Using Google Forms, we will take the test online. If the test question is a content question and the kids can look up the answer online, they may do so. If the test question is a thinking question, then they will not be able to look it up. Our tests should focus on thinking questions, not content questions.

After each question on this assessment is a survey question. The survey question simply asks if the students searched online for the answer or if they reasoned out the answer. That data will be used when we tweak our assessments this summer. Hopefully after some tweaking, significant in some cases, the assessments will focus on thinking questions rather than random historical facts. 

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