1956 short film on how to take a test. Has much changed?
Showing 60 posts tagged testing
But the test had one feature that shocked this test-taker and surely others who noticed it: product placement.
As a student who takes these tests year after year, I (and many others) can testify to the nonsensical and, at times, illogical qualities of many test passages and questions. Last year, for example, Pearson had to throw out six questions onits eighth grade English test that followed a perplexing fable with the moral, “Pineapples don’t have sleeves”. I thought that nothing could be worse than that test. I was wrong.
image via flickr:CC | gingerbeardman
High school students will take the college-admissions exam by computer starting in the spring of 2015, but at least for a while, the paper and pencil version will still be available.
According to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, self-affirmation is the process of identifying and focusing on your most important values. Doing this can boost problem-solving abilities, the researchers claim.
“An emerging set of published studies suggest that a brief self-affirmation activity at the beginning of a school term can boost academic grade-point averages in underperforming kids at the end of the semester.
In California, the curriculum standards and the new tests that go with them are supposed to be implemented in the 2014-15 school year.
That’s soon, and at the rate California is going, it won’t be ready. The core curriculum standards lay out extensive guidelines about the knowledge and skills that students should master in each grade of public school, in both reading and math. But there are many complicated steps involved in turning those guidelines into a day-to-day educational plan for California schools, and the state isn’t even close to halfway through them. It hasn’t figured out how to go about training teachers, and won’t begin to adopt new textbooks — a slow and politically rancorous process — for at least two years.
What’s more, common core is expensive, requiring extensive new training for teachers, new textbooks and computers on which the new tests must be taken. It’s unclear where the state will find the money.
image via flickr:CC | woodleywonderworks
Hailey Schnorr has spent years peering into the bedrooms, kitchens, and dorm rooms of students via Webcam. In her job proctoring online tests for universities, she has learned to focus mainly on students’ eyes.
“What we look for is eye movement,” says Ms. Schnorr. “When the eyes start veering off to the side, that’s clearly a red flag.”
The result is a monitoring regime that can seem a bit Orwellian. Rather than one proctor sitting at the head of a physical classroom and roaming the aisles every once in a while, remote proctors peer into a student’s home, seize control of her computer, and stare at her face for the duration of a test, reading her body language for signs of impropriety.
Even slight oddities of behavior often lead to “incident reports,” which the companies supply to colleges along with recordings of the suspicious behavior.
image via flickr:CC | joeythibault
How much proctoring is enough?
New survey results from the ACT assessment organization, made public Wednesday, show a disconnect on the crucial question of college readiness. Eighty-nine percent of high school teachers surveyed said students who finished their classes were well or very well prepared for college work in those subjects.
But 26 percent of college instructors say incoming students are well or very well prepared for first-year courses, the survey found.
A new study, published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, suggests that relatively simple twists on the familiar high-speed, high-pressure math quiz can level the field of classroom competition.
Research has long shown that males respond better to competitive incentives than their female counterparts. And there are plenty of studies that have found when boys and girls are put in head-to-head competition in which there’s a single, timed opportunity to win, boys excel. For the new study, researchers explored what happens when students are given a second chance to compete, and how eliminating the time limits further changes the outcomes.
photo via flickr:CC | dkuropatwa
Now researchers (Szpunar, Khan, & Schacter, 2013) have reported testing as a potentially powerful ally in online learning. College students frequently report difficulty in maintaining attention during lectures, and that problem seems to be exacerbated when the lecture occurs on video.
Data shows students’ minds wandered less with just the thought that they might be tested. Interesting…
photo via flickr:CC | konch
Only one in 10 students surveyed would choose to take the crucial admissions test online vs. using the traditional No. 2 pencil and fill-in-the-ovals sheet.
“Taking tests on the computer to me is tedious. Dealing with a machine, anything can happen,” says Clayton, who did not take the Kaplan survey. “After awhile it starts to wear on you. It can also affect your ability to answer questions later on the exam.”
More than four out of five students (81%) said they would not want to take the SAT via computer, citing concerns such as technical difficulties, typing proficiency and wanting to work out math problems with paper and pencil. Nine percent weren’t sure. Among parents, 65% favored computers, in many cases noting that most kids are tech-savvy, and 15% were unsure.
After a college career and moving into the workforce, adults often become test-averse, if not test-phobic.
New research discovers this attitude can be detrimental to learning as the act of testing can help older adults learn more than if they just restudy material.
In the study, published online in the journal Psychology and Aging, adults of various ages improved their retention of new information just as much as college students if they were tested on the material and received feedback on their scores, rather than just restudying the materials.
photo via flickr:CC | biologycorner
Favero decided to redesign his review sessions. He decided to have them during a regularly scheduled class session. On the syllabus he lists them as a “review” or “test preparation” and has nearly perfect attendance that day in class. “Like many teachers, I came to the conclusion that if I wanted my students to become problem solvers, I had to provide them with low-stakes opportunities and time to solve them.”