Testing: Is it working?
We have all been there. It’s mid-semester and there’s a test, and also the “Finals.) What exactly are we testing? Are we testing someone’s ability to stay up all night and memorize? Are we testing 1/3 of the type of learners who understand audio (learning by hearing) learning? Or, do the schools just want some proof that you have learned the subject matter? If this is the case, the schools have made a terrible mistake.
What is the reason? There are three types of learners, those who hear (audio,) those who see (visual) and those who experience (Kinesthetic.) The other two learning styles are not the people who test well. Testing is, simply, not effective for all learning types.
Isn’t the reason for tests to see a learning outcome? The way we are tested today removes self-esteem from many of the students. They feel like “losers,” when all they did was the best they could. Taking a student’s self-esteem away at an early age can be detrimental to them and affect them the rest of their lives.
If this is so, and I believe it is, the testing in schools has to be changed. Instead of giving a test, and scaring the student half to death, how about trying this.
The teacher gives the student the test. You grade it and give it back to the student. Give them a certain amount of time and then ask them to go over the questions they got wrong and write in the narrative what the answer should be and why. Collect the tests and re-grade them.
You will have a happy student with a learning outcome!
It begins in grade school and does not stop there.
In adulthood, we apply for certifications and, of course, there is a test. Really, is this necessary? I loved working on my Ph.D. because it was all done in the narrative. I even suggest going one step further than writing about each course. How about this? Have the adult student put so many interviews on audio. Has the adult student listened 70% of the time? Did the adult student hear what their client was saying? How did they handle their session? Now, that’s a test that is completely accurate.
I’m not sure what is wrong with the educational system in schools or the
“powers that be” in adult testing, but I know this. Much of what I’ve learned has been out of school, once I left all the training behind. I learn more when I chose to learn something new; not because I had to. Life is the big lesson, not a classroom!
I’m sure many people feel the same way.