More on Testing

Dear Reader,

I blogged on testing here. Today I read this article from the Boston Globe on the subject. The thrust of the Globe article is that universities, particularly Harvard, are doing away with final exams in favor of other methods of evaluation. The article acknowledges that the giving of such exams “was an efficient way to assess students in large numbers.” I am pleased to see though that those arguing against the exams seem to be doing so with the students  in mind. My point in my previous blog post was that test taking should benefit the student, and not just the teacher or some other third party. Now some argue as the Globe says that, “[A final exam] might be stressful, even terrifying, but it has the singular power to force students to go back over material, think critically about what they have read, review hard-to-grasp-topics once more, and even talk about the subject matter with classmates and instructors — all of which enhance learning.” But at least the point of the exam in this view seems to be to force the student to put together and process information. The flip side, as the Globe article says, is that some people just don’t do well on exams. And there seems to be evidence that students retain more from more frequent, smaller quizzes. Either way, I am glad to see that the focus is on what the students are able to learn.

Nebby

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One response to this post.

  1. […] tests in general and what the point of them is (edited to say, also check out this follow up post: more on testing). When it comes of testing students, I think there are 3 parties involved: the test-taker, the […]

    Reply

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