September 15

Wordy Wednesday #8

OK, so it’s the wrong time of the year to be asking this question, but what do you think is one reason for or against testing?

I think frequent, simple tests are a good way of reminding students why they are there, as a means of giving hard proof that they ARE learning.  Students shouldn’t worry about these tests – they shouldn’t need to if they have been taught well and have been paying attention in classes – but I do think that it’s important for them to get feedback on the tests, not just a mark but a helping hand if they’re finidng something difficult.

Posted September 15, 2010 by Teresa Bestwick in category Exams, Wordy Wednesday

7 thoughts on “Wordy Wednesday #8

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  2. ktenkely

    Here is something to think about, is there another way to gather “hard proof” that they are learning? Is there a way that might be more authentic? If there is, go with that over a test. More formative assessment.

  3. shadowfalcon

    Tests give students a reason to work harder. No one likes them but without them I think a lot of people would coast through. Like you said the feedback is the most important part – tests can highlight very quickly where a student needs help.

    1. Teresa Bestwick (Post author)

      It’s strange though, some students like the idea of tests! They too like having proof of progress and some of them aren’t happy unless it’s given to them in the form of an A-E grade. I guess that comes from traditional education styles, where you take a report card home each term.

  4. Michelle Worgan

    Hi Teresa, I just wrote really long comment but I got the captcha wrong and it lost everything!
    I’ll try again!

    I’m not a huge test-giver myself because my students (children and teens) are overwhelmed with (state) school exams. I find it very difficult to get them to understand that how they do in a test i.e. the mark is not as important as what they learn and remember from doing the test. However, they are only interested in the mark.

    I think there are alternative methods of assessment suitable for YLs. One of these is creating a portfolio of their work during the year, which shows what they have learnt and the progress they have made. The portfolios can be made up of different types of activity e.g. freer writing pieces such as postcards, letters, stories; worksheets you make or copy from a teacher’s book including all four skills as well as vocabulary and structures.
    This allows students and parents to actually see the progress, and is more fun than doing a test!


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