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Respond to discussion 100-150 words for each..

Brenda

I have to admit I did not recall ever having to compose a “test” besides a hand-written assessment with only a few questions. When I think of test, I think of the four-to five pages of typed tests I took in high school and college. We have come a long way.

I am in my third year of certified teaching and my Special Education and use goals and MDE standards to teach my students. Most goals that are functional are teacher observed, like brushing teeth, washing hands, and using a microwave. The MDE goals gives a scaffolding document in helping to unpack each standard. In addition to the scaffolding, which details what the student should already know and learn, there are multiple websites to pull work sheets. I use Teacherspayteachers.com, K5learning.com, Commonlit.com, and other reliable sources. There are assessments on MobyMax, Freckle, and computer-based learning alike. On the computer-based, I can select questions. So, I have constructed a test! My skills can certainly be improved. 

Specific ways I could improve is to remember the points given in our lecture. I know we can all attest to looking up at our teacher when test-taking and saying, “your tricking me!” on certain questions or asking exactly what they mean by a question or answer. In Special Education, there are no trick questions, but I can remember to keep it simple and avoid gray areas or wording that is vague and confusing. I would even bump up a notch and use words that are easy to understand and not words like “bewildered” in a passage – as I have read on a specific test for my kids that are on a third grade reading level. I can not control those tests, but I can ask good questions that they understand. When reading and answering questions, I can avoid words like “always” and “never” and make sure the answers are from the text, not opinion when using inference. I tend to use matching a lot, so I will look for those that separate ideas or concepts instead of listing a bunch of words in any order. Multiple choice is a preferred way to test, but I have to be careful when using them to test. They get confused and answer with what makes sense according to their own experience instead of text-based answers. Fill in the blank is a good way to make it a game. I read and they fill in the blank. I will remember to use the blank near the end of the sentence as our lecture suggest.

No matter the depth of knowledge, test instructions should be clear. If more than one choice is correct, it should be stated. Questions should be clear and absolute without using key words (stem clues) and other clues like “is” and “are” to hint at the correct answer.

Gabriel

I enjoyed the assessment activity that was included with this week’s discussion post.  I found that I frequently found it difficult to identify the reasons for which some of the questions listed were considered to be poorly designed test questions, not suitable to be used on any administered assessments in one’s classroom.  As for my own personal construction, I will continue to follow the guidelines when designing test questions for my classroom assessments as to avoid confusion amongst the students as well as have the questions be effective tools used to assess the comprehension of my students on material that is covered and required by the core standards in each of our lessons.  I strive to ensure that the points covered this week, centered around test design, are met.  I do this not only because it is expected of me but because by doing so, it allows me to better assess each student’s academic performance as well as my own performance when covering any material that I expect them to test on.  Through following the guidelines set out, if there are well written questions that are missed in large quantities, I can place the blame upon myself and find new ways to better present the information in hopes that student performance will improve.  In this same scenario with a poorly written test question, one of two potential issues may arise.  Students may potentially all answer correctly even without having knowledge on the question they answered if I mistakenly leave clues to the correct question either in the question itself, in the answer choices, or in a separate question elsewhere on the test.  It is also important that I ask questions in a way that there is only the desired answer which I am targeting rather than a question that is asked in a way which multiple answers may be considered correct such as, “The President of the United States is ____________.”  This question is poorly designed because it leaves students with the option to voice their opinions in a question that would likely be designed to either list a duty of the president or the name of a current president.  It is very unclear exactly what answer is desired which makes it a poorly designed question and could use more specific content added to obtain a desired response from the students about the subject.

Carolyn

Learning the guidelines for building better test items for a valid assessment was very useful in developing effective test items.  Although, I don’t really develop my own tests too much because of the curriculum and pacing guide, I learned a lot of things that could help me in the event that I am forced to do so.  “The most instructionally relevant achievement tests are those developed by the individual teacher for use with a particular class. Teachers can tailor tests to emphasize the information they consider important and to match the ability levels of their students” (Childs, 1989).  I had no idea that the format of an item is sometimes determined by the context objectives being taught. Matching learning objective expectations to specific item types can help you choose the right kind of test item for your classroom exam while also increasing test validity.  I also learned how to create objects that need the least amount of guesswork.  With completion questions, or what we know as fill-in-the blank, there should not be more than one blank per question. When possible, those particular items should just require a single-word response/short and definite reply. Fill in the blank should be placed at the conclusion of the statement, not at the beginning. Multiple choice questions are unique in that they allow the teacher to assess students at both the higher and lower levels of taxonomy.  The most important thing to remember to do when creating a test is to examine the standards that must be met. To create accurate conclusions from student performance, the test items must successfully capture a representative sample of the ideas and skills outlined in the standards. As a result, make certain that the goods you create adhere to your criteria.