Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Negotiable Formats

Unless the exam format is literally the standard or objective, the format of the exam or project should be negotiable.

Unless you can show me a standard from anywhere in the world that specifically outlines the ability to answer a multiple choice question as the learning outcome, why in the world would we ever provide children with no other format to exhibit their learning?

And yet how many quizzes, mid-terms, final exams, standardized tests, homework assignments, minor assignments or major projects invite children to negotiate their format?

The lack of legitimate answers to these questions tell us one thing: most assessment formats are less about the students and more about the system. Cui bono?

This is exactly why there is such a chasm between the idea of differentiated instruction and standardized assessment.

The paradox is enough to drive anyone to drink.

2 comments:

  1. The sad thing is, in my university module on education and psychology, answering multi-choice questions was part of the curriculum. How sad!

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  2. My name is Sharon barrow and I am a secondary education and language arts student in Mobile Alabama. I used to think I liked multiple choice formats but I recently realized that I hate it. It semms students like it better than say short answer or fill in the blank because they don't have to think and it gives them a 25% chance at getting it right by guessing. In addition I think standarized tests are formatted that way because it is easier the push the paper through a programmed machine to score it than it is to actually grade it yourself.

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