Education

Teaching to Take Tests & Testing to Teach; Today’s Practice

Could it be that we would rather create a learning and testing environment that works against our students rather than serving them? We want to challenge learners to learn, but are we challenging them the right way?

The following is an article of mine copied over from http://www.dadelleumcorp.com.

The world is a competitive place.  Businesses want to hire the best candidates, and academic institutions want to produce the best candidates.  One major factor that determines one’s worth in the marketplace of life, as practiced today, is test scoring.  Exams such as the ACT and SAT are prerequisites for college admission.  It is now commonplace to reduce twelve years of education to a few hours of testing. When being considered for a job, the candidate with a 4.0 GPA is likely to be chosen over the one with a 3.9.  Great emphasis is placed on scoring high in today’s marketplace.

As the world grows and becomes more competitive, testing becomes more and more sophisticated.  Because such competitive desires are to score higher than competition, has the end-goal of learning been delegated as such?  And has testing, itself, become the reason to learn?

A counter-productive problem arises when such practices are done to a learner’s detriment. It would seem we now challenge our students to take tests and to compete rather than challenging them individually with more patience, understanding, and attention.  We time our students during tests and develop curricula which can fail a student for a semester of excellence but a poor final exam score.

Could it be that we would rather create a learning and testing environment that works against our students rather than serving them?  We want to challenge learners to learn, but are we challenging them the right way?

For those born into such a competitive marketplace, the world of testing can be harsh and stressful.  Dadelleum® believes in improving such testing environments so as to not hinder learners.  DD® works with testing institutions to review administered exams and advises on best practices for learner success.  It’s important to challenge learners, but it’s also important to challenge ourselves to create a better learning environment for learners.  This is done through what is termed the DD® standard.  In just a few words, Dadelleum®’s method is to certify exams for quality first and, then, document related information, such as the information in the exam and the benchmarks it was designed to test.

Question Quality & Construct Validity
In this area, the focus is on minimizing the use of confusingly constructed sentence-question language and ensuring that questions accurately measure what we believe them to measure.

Scoring Methods
In this area, the focus is on using sensible grade-scoring for tests and making sure scoring methods are balanced.

DD® Archival
In this area, the focus is on offering more comprehensive exam reports.  Dadelleum® stores copies of exams and lists out what benchmarks each exam is targeting.

It’s important to note that DD® makes no attempt to dictate how or what students are taught, and the DD® Standard does not attempt to alter established curricula. Institutions will continue to set their own benchmarks and educators should continue teaching as they see fit.  The DD® standard benefits everyone.  It assists educators in implementing better ways of helping their students.

Testing institutions that work to better testing in order to help learners are considered DD® approved or certified. With this status, testing institutions, educators, learners, and parents of learners may all have confidence in one another in that much is being done to enable the best learning environments possible.  Dadelleum® believes in testing for success, not stress.

Author:  Tevin A. Townsend

 

2 comments

  1. The way testing is done has reduced a vital public function (education) into a commodity. At some point the testing regime will have to change because too many kids are left behind which will be to societies detriment.

    Like

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