Creating Effective Classroom Tests

Report
Creating Effective
Classroom Tests
by Christine Coombe and
Nancy Hubley
1
Introduction
• Guiding principles (cornerstones) that govern
good testing
– Validity
– Reliability
– Practicality
– Washback
– Authenticity
– Transparency
– Security
2
Validity
• Does the test measure what it says it measures?
• Test what you teach!!!
– Test content should be
valid (taught)
– The theories should “fit”
with the methodologies
of teaching that particular
subject
– Test should look like it measure what it should
measure
3
Reliability
• Consistency of test scores
– Test will yield similar results if given at different
times
• Length of results should be consistent
– Longer tests produce more reliable results
• Classroom setting
– Lightning, spacing, lack of intrusive noise
• Administrative handling of the test
4
Practicality
• Teacher should be able to set,
administer and mark
the test in the given time
• Class test are only effective
if they are returned promptly
– So that students can benefit
from the test taking process
5
Washback
• Effect of testing on teaching and learning
• Both teachers and students should be clear on
the outcomes of the test and the course
• Tests should act as markers of achievement for
students so that they have a sense of
acomplishment
6
Authenticity
• Refers to the use of concepts in the real world
• Students must know where each of the
concept studied/tested applies in the real
world
7
Transparency
• Transperent grading criteria
• Weighting of item in test
• Time allowed to complete the test
• No mysteries!!!
• Students should be clear that they have
“earned” the marks
8
Security
• Security is not important only in high-stake
tests
– Part of both reliability and validity
• Time is invested in setting the
tests,so they may be recycled
• Cultural issues affect security
– e.g., Is it ok to make tests public?
9
Guidelines
• Test to course outcomes
• Test what has been taught, how it has been taught
• Weight exam according to outcomes and course
emphases
• Organize exam with student time allocation in mind
• Test one language skill at a time unless integrative
testing is the intent
• Set tasks in context wherever possible
• Choose formats that are authentic for tasks and skills
• Avoid mixing formats within one exam task
10
Guidelines
• Distinguish between recognition, recall, and production
in selecting formats
• Design test with entire test sections and tasks in mind
• Prepare unambiguous items well in advance
• Sequence items from easy to more difficult
• Items receiving equal weight should be of equal
difficulty
• Write clear directions and rubrics
• Provide examples for each format
• Write more items than you need
11
Guidelines
•
•
•
•
Avoid sequential items
Take your test as a student before finalizing it
Make the test easy and fair to grade
Develop practice tests and answer keys
simultaneously
• Specify the material to be tested to the
students
12
Guidelines
• Acquaint students with techniques and
formats
• Administer test in uniform, non-distracting
conditions
• For subjective formats, use multiple raters
whenever possible
• Provide timely feedback to students
• Reflect on exam without delay
13
MCQ Format
• For testing of main idea in a text:
– JR (just right): the correct answer
Distracters:
– TG (too general): option too broad
– TS (too specific): option focusing one detail in the
paragraph
– OT (off topic): reflects an idea that is not
developed in the paragraph
14

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