Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Assessment/Test/Quiz Design

As many of you know, I currently have a student teacher "interning" in my classroom. He is discovering the challenge of working with middle/junior high students, but so far, he says he prefers junior high students to those he experienced in his first section of student teaching at one of our local high schools. I did gently remind him that I have seventh graders, NOT eighth graders, many of whom are a completely different species....anyhow......

I wrote up a short piece regarding aspects of developing assessments/tests and quizzes. Here it is:

Tips for creating Quizzes, Tests and other assessment activities....

1. Stick to the standards you are expected to teach and students are
expected to know/learn.

2. For multiple choice questions
* try to keep the question short......
* do not use conflicting letters to represent answer choices......
have letters like c and e , i and j, m and n, u and v , x and y
etc. in the same set of answer choices.
This can cut down on the number of challenges in grading these
questions and in students questioning a question being marked
as wrong or not correct.

* it is ok to include a (none of these answer choices) or (all of these
answer choices) answer choice.

3. For True and False questions:
* I suggest using ( + ) for True and ( O ) for False statements.
This eliminates the mutant variations on the letters T and F.

4. For Fill-in-the-blank questions, I often put a few answer spaces at
the beginning of the statement to help remind students to capitalize
the first word of a sentence. Hold students accountable to
capitalize proper nouns.

Example of some fill-in-the-blank quiz questions:
1. Egyptian rulers were called _______________.
2. The river that flows through Egypt is the __________ River.
3. ________pharaoh_________ was the boy pharaoh whose treasure
laden tomb was discovered by Harold Carter in 1921.

5. Skills:
* include questions in which students must use a map, graph,
chart, timeline or other graphic material provided by the
* I often include a chronological ordering activity to evaluate
the students grasp of the order the events we study took place.

6. Provide multiple parts of the assessment activity, for example, a
quiz that contains true and false questions, multiple choice
questions, fill-in-the-blank, and perhaps an activity asking the
student to draw something and explain the drawing (such as a 4+4
type of activity.

7. Use at least 12 point type size. Leave at least one line of space
between each question.

8. To modify a test or quiz for ELL or Special Education students, you
can offer fewer answer choices on multiple choice questions, by
providing a choice of answers for fill-in-the-blank questions, by
reading aloud each question and its answer choices......
You may also test students orally, either as a small group or

9. Keep in mind the purpose of the quiz, test or assessment.....to
monitor and evaluate student learning and intergration of the presented

10. OF COURSE, you can just use whatever assessment, quiz and test
materials come with the bundle of stuff from the text book
publisher; but I find that these are often lacking in supplementaluse
many other supplemental teaching materials that may contain data
or skills not included in the publishers bundle of stuff for their
textbook, etc.

What do you experienced teachers out there think of this ? Too much to bite off and chew at once? Anything you would add or change? Please let me know. I have been doing this for a long time and find that it is an ongoing learning process for me in designing and developing assessment, test and quiz materials. Anyhow, please feel free to share your personal expertise in this matter (or anything else about classroom life and survival!)

Thanks for reading my blog! As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions!