Tuesday, February 8, 2011

No one test

Most people who are truly familiar with standardized tests will readily admit how little these tests accurately measure the real learning that goes on in a classroom.

Most of these tests are multiple choice and thus provide students with little to no opportunity to construct a response that can authentically reflect their learning.

While it is important to understand the paralyzing limitations of multiple choice exams, it is equally as important to understand that no one single measurement, no matter how authentic, can ever properly reflect the learning that takes place over months or years.

No matter how much anyone tries, there will never be a single test that gives those outside the classroom an authentic feel for what those in the classroom experience everyday of the year.

3 comments:

  1. Dear Joe,

    I have sent you a couple of e-mails for inviting you to supervise a seminar for a group of Estonian teachers. I hope you have received them! Will you teach us?

    Gratefully,
    Kersti

    ReplyDelete
  2. Morning, Joe - I don't think any one would disagree with your statement. The concept of multiple measures and triangulation are shouted far and wide within the data and assessment field. Any one who claims that a single anything can capture the depth and breath of the learning experience is either being dishonest or fooling themselves.

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  3. This is so true. We need to move beyond the thought that learning is simply memorizing information. Multiple choice tests do little to apply facts or measure the ability of students to analyze, critically think about, and organize information in an innovative and useful way. Business executives and other companies are telling schools they need employees who can gather and use information and ideas to create new products, services, policies, ect. Placing an importance on standardized testing lowers our expectations on students to be innovative.

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