Posts Tagged ‘Testing’

Tests are good! Especially for learning!

February 6th, 2013 1 comment

For many students and faculty alike, testing is often considered a necessary evil in learning contexts. Tests – for students – are stressful, requiring hours of preparation, and may feel like a hurdle to be cleared. For many, testing is seen primarily as an assessment tool – it determines a grade, can have powerful and long-reaching implications on an individual’s future success and career options. Failing a test can have negative effects on academic performance and also on a student’s sense of worth. All in all, tests are typically seen as a rather negative event (unpublished data in our lab indicated an average rating of 3.04 on a 1-7 scale, where 1 was ‘extremely negative’ and 7 was ‘extremely positive’ for the word test).

multiple choice

For faculty, tests are often not held in much higher consideration. Tests can ‘take time away’ from more productive pursuits such as lectures or discussions. Preparing and grading a test is extremely time-consuming – thus pushing many faculty to opt for multiple choice questions that can be graded quickly and easily. Small wonder, then, that many college courses only include 2 or 3 exams over the course of a semester.

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Categories: Education, Memory Tags: ,