Testing our students in a whole new way!

I cannot tell you the fascination that I have within this class. Each week I feel as though I am learning new material. Not only have I not heard this information before, but it can be entirely useful throughout my future teaching. During last class, I loved the way in which we discovered new ways we can assess our students. I never new that Google Docs could have so many things to offer and I feel as though each week, I am learning more and more about this program. During class when we made up quizzes and tests for our classmates to take, we had the opportunity to practice techniques that will be useful to our students in the future. I am fascinated by the way the teacher has the power to see every student’s tests and correct them right on the spot without doing any paperwork. I know that this will be something that I will use within my classroom and with my students. I think that children are becoming more technologically savvy within their academic endeavors, and asking them to conduct a test on the computer will provide them with the versatility and the creative edge that I feel education needs.

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8 thoughts on “Testing our students in a whole new way!

  1. I agree that new way of testing was fun and it seems the students will enjoy being able to take a test on the computer rather than traditionally writing out there responses. It is also more environment friendly with not having to make so many copies of test for each student. The grading process is faster and students can get automatic feedback of their grade through their email.

  2. Angela,
    I also couldn’t agree more. It makes me wonder, referring to the students that are in our class that are actual practicing teachers in they’re own classroom… do/will they use these new assessment strategies? Sometimes I feel in schools its hard to work outside the box especially when it comes to technology because adults are scared of it. But they’re are scared because they are not knowledgeable about it.

  3. Now here’s the million dollar question: Using this tool to assess discrete bits of knowledge… how does this type of assessment fit in to your larger philosophy of assessment. Will we end up assessing more this way because it is more efficient? Is it often the best way to assess learning (not recall)? Thinking back to the TPACK model introduced the first class (http://mkoehler.educ.msu.edu/tpack/what-is-tpack/), how does one’s beliefs about content and pedagogy impact one’s use of technology… and in this case, one’s use of technology to assess? These are by far the bigger (and harder) questions to wrestle with here.

    • This type of assessment would fit into my philosophy of assessment, as long as I made all of the questions within the assessment understandable for all of my students. My philosophy in education is that I test students according to their prior knowledge and level of education. My class will be built on diversity and lessons tailored to my student’s needs. I feel that this type of assessment, if used properly can be manipulated and developed to cater to the needs of each of my students. I think this type of assessment is more efficient and organized, which I strive to be as an educator. The TPACK model really intrigues me because I think the teacher must be knowledgeable in technology to incorporate it into his or her lessons. I believe that if a teacher has no drive to include technology within the curriculum, it simply will not happen. There needs to be a cohesive bond between the technological knowledge, the content knowledge, and the pedagogical knowledge. This will require a lot of hard work and determination, but I think when conducted properly, the teacher will find that the technology used within the curriculum is worth the effort and the students will in turn have a greater appreciation for what is being taught.

  4. Angela, I agree with your post…this class has broadened my horizons with respect to learning about new technology resources, programs and software to use in the classroom. I see most of these new tech resources as beneficial to the students and teachers…inside the classroom and beyond the classroom in real life. I am amazed at all the programs and tech tools out there for student and teacher use. So far, this class has been a valuable and rewarding experience. It seems that most (if not all) students are very excited to learn and implement these new tech tools in the classroom. Although, these tech tools do offer a great benefit for students, I continue to believe that there should be a balance between learning and teaching with these new tech tools and teaching/learning with traditional methods, strategies and resources. I think it is important for students to be aware of and able to use technology, but I also think it is important to instill some traditional ways and strategies for students to explore, discover, learn and synthesize.

    • Ryan, I think a balanced perspective is always wise, for sure. However, I would challenge you to define “traditional ways and strategies…” , as we’re not really talking about deviating from what makes learning effective and meaningful, but rather the tools to facilitate such learning. If a pencil and paper is the best tool to achieve those ends, then so be it. However, often it isn’t the specific tools that are the problem, but rather ineffective strategies and an over-reliance on teacher-centered instruction at the expense of student learning. Some would equate traditional with teacher-centered. Others would interpret traditional as the tools that we use. So, how would you define “traditional” in this context?

      • I guess when I say traditional , I mean teaching students how to use a text ( book, article, textbook) and teach strategies for reading with comprehension, writing notes, organizing your thoughts on paper and organizing/structuring your thoughts into a written response. I think about traditional as being able to read for understanding, to infer, respond and supply answers/information to questions and synthesize from a reading. I guess “traditional” has some teacher- centered in it, as there would be lecture/instruction led by a teacher and active listening, note taking and completing a task as assigned by the teacher. I guess you can teach and do all these things, while using a computer, technology and so forth. You have me thinking differently about my initial comment…and a bit more confused about it. Lol. Ha.

  5. Excellent! This is the big question… if we have new tools to learn… tools better suited to a digital generation, should we consider them? Is “good learning” good learning, regardless of the tools that we use? And, can we be considered effective teachers if we ignore the current cultural tools of a generation? In doing so, are we really meeting their needs? Finally, are there new skills that need to be taught that actually require using these new tools?

    Sorry to leave you with more questions, but questions are good 🙂

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