Use your knowledge of Assessment FOR Learning and Standards Based Learning to analyze the following very traditional assessment practice.  Discuss your analysis with your group and leave your thoughts as replies to this discussion.

After her students take a major unit test, a teacher allows her students to write correct answers to the questions they missed. After they turn in these test corrections, the students will earn back 50% of the points they missed on the test.

Some possible topics to consider/discuss: 

  1. How is/isn't this practice in line with the concept of assessment being for the purpose of increasing learning?  Does it increase learning? Could it be improved?
  2. How does this practice impact the desired outcome of learning being elevated over grading?
  3. What is the value of the feedback students receive from this activity?
  4. What do you see as "pros" of this activity?  What do you see as "cons"?

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  • 1. Since all students can write the corrections and earn extra points, the teacher does not get a true picture of student learning and specific obstacles to their learning. It does help them be better prepared if they were to see that particular question again. It only increases learning for that specific question, but doesn't go "deep" enough for the student to reason it out on their own. Of course it could be improved by the teacher covering the material later and in different ways (looping) for student understanding. What teachers and students should be moving toward is the mastery of the material not the grade for the class.

  • Frankly, I see this effort as a way to artificially inflate grades and show little to nothing about student learning. It does become a numbers game when students realize that nothing really urges them to learn the material in the first place. If they can raise their grades from, say, a D to a B by simply paying attention to the correct answers after the fact, then nothing compels them to learn anything but the right answers. There is no application, no synthesis -- nothing that speaks to me of real learning. 

  • At our table we feel this could have a better construction.  An alternate assessment for standards not met would be better.

  • If forces students to identify mistakes without going over a test and giving the student the answer. It could give a false sense of learning if the student is missing most of the questions and earning a majority of the points back on corrections. Student could be receiving help on corrections which is not assessing individual learning. Students could become reliant on correction points and fail to put in the necessary work to study the material before the test. 

  • I second all that Jenn said.  But I would also add that corrections CAN be useful when students must identify WHY they missed it.  However, I do not assign points to it.  Rather, I make completing detailed corrections a requirement for retaking the assessment.  I assign points to the assessment and even allow it to replace the poorer grade.

  • As a whole, our group believed that not much relearning actually takes place in that scenario. We believe in point redemption - to a degree- when student has been asked to revisit the material, invest time in working to relearn the material, and then given the opportunity to demonstrate mastery in a new assignment that assesses the same material. This is labor intensive for both parties but productive.

  • 1. I think that it is good for the students to know what they missed specifically however I don't think that giving them 50% of their grade back for just answering the question correctly right after.  However it depends on if they have a book or notes or the obvious answer somehow sitting right in front of them then is it really assessing their knowledge or is it assessing how well they look up the correct answer from their notes?

    2. I think that its important to give specific feedback and this is a good way to do it but I would use another test on a different day to give them the option to show their level of knowledge of that specific standard.

  • Even if the practice is to increase/improve learning, there is disparity in how grade can be improved.  For example, the student who earned 90% first time around, can improve to a 95%, but the student who earned 20% the first time around, can only improve to a 60%.

  • Getting back 1/2 of the lost points is really just playing the numbers game.  I suggest finding another way for the student to demonstrate that they have learned it.  Someone at my table suggested using the test corrections for the student to review before retaking the test.

  • Test corrections can be used as a prerequisite for retaking a specific assessment. Thus, test corrections are an important practice component, but the new test is a more valid reflection of their knowledge of the given topic.

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