A Reader Asks… The 13 Question Final Exam

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A LYS campus instructional leader calls me out.

SC,

A 13-question final better than what we already have?  Empty boast or the real deal?

SC Response My goals with a comprehensive final are to:

1. Assess student mastery of the content.

2. Determine if the scope of the content was covered.

3. Determine which concepts we, as a content team, teach effectively

4. Determine which concepts we, as a content team, do not teach effectively.

To do this I need to have questions that assess the critical elements of the content, and I most likely want to have multiple questions for those elements.  Which means that for a given course, I will have between 25 to 50 questions that I want to ask.  And you can ask all of those questions.

You just don’t have to ask each one to every student.

Take your question bank, ensure that the questions for each element are of similar difficulty and then make multiple versions of the test.  If I had a 30-question bank, I would create three different 10-question tests.  The student would get his individual score, and I would aggregate the item results of the three tests for my instructional planning data.

Now I said a 13-question test.  We all agree that multiple choice tests aren’t the best way to assess student learning.  So I would have 3 essay questions that allow students to truly demonstrate the depth of their knowledge of the material.  And I would weigh the final, 75% essay, 25% multiple choice.

With this format, a 90 minute, 13-question final will provide the richest and deepest sample of student and instructional data you have ever possessed.

The real questions are, “Do you want it?”

Or, “Is doing the same old thing and not knowing, better?” 

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
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Readers Write… The Doing / Understanding Gap – Part 1
A Reader Asks… A Formative Observation Question

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