Testing students and questioning strategies
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Testing students and questioning strategies. Methodology L7 Lecture. Testing students and questioning strategies. Testing and assessment

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Testing students and questioning strategies

Testing students and questioning strategies

Methodology L7

Lecture

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz


Testing students and questioning strategies1

Testing students and questioning strategies

  • Testing and assessment

    Assessment entails the collection and evaluation of evidence about students’ learning and testing is part of the process. Educational assessment is best viewed not as an end in itself but as a form of applied social research.

  • There is a reciprocal relationship between testing and teaching.

    Teachers should test what they teach. However teachers should teach what they test. If teachers feel that it is inappropriate to teach what they are testing, then the value of testing should be questioned and if they can not teach towards a test in interesting enjoyable ways, there are problems either with the test, or with the teachers and their way of teaching

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz


Different types of test

Different types of test

There are four main reasons for testing which give

rise to four categories of test:

1-Placement tests: placing new students in the right class in a school is facilitated with the use of placement tests. Usually based on syllabuses and materials the students will follow and use once their level has been decided on. Placement tests test grammar and vocabulary knowledge and assess students' language production in general

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz


Different types of test cont

Different types of test cont.

2- Diagnostic tests:

while placement tests are designed to show how good a student's English is in relation to a previously agreed system of levels, diagnostic tests can be used to expose learner difficulties, gaps in their knowledge, and skill deficiencies during a course. Thus, when we know what the problems are, we can do something about them.

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz


Different types of test cont1

Different types of test cont.

3-Progress or achievement tests:

These tests are designed to measure learners' language and skill progress in relation to the syllabus they have been following. Achievement tests only work if they contain item types which the students are familiar with. This does not mean that in a reading test, for example, we give them texts they have seen before, but it does mean providing them with similar texts and familiar task types. If students are faced with completely new material, the test will not measure the learning that has been taking place, even though it can still measure general language proficiency.

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz


Different types of test cont2

Different types of test cont.

Achievement tests at the end of a term (like progress tests at the end of a unit) should reflect progress, not failure. They should reinforce the learning that has taken place, not go out of their way to expose weaknesses. They can also help us to decide on changes to future teaching programmes where students do significant progress in (parts of) the test than we might have expected.

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz


Different types of test cont3

Different types of test cont.

4- Proficiency tests:

proficiency tests give a general picture of a student's knowledge and ability (rather than measure progress). They are frequently used as stages people have to reach if they want to be admitted to a foreign university, get a job, or obtain some kind of certificate.

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz


Characteristics of a good test

Characteristics of a good test

In order to judge the effectiveness of any test it is sensible to lay down criteria against which the test can be measured, as follows:

Validity: a test is valid if it tests what it is supposed to test. Thus it is not valid, 'for example' to test writing ability with an essay question that requires specialist knowledge of history or biology - unless it is known that all students share this knowledge before they do the test

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz


Characteristics of a good test cont

Characteristics of a good test cont.

A particular kind of ‘validity' that concerns most test designers is face validity. This means that the test should look, on the 'face' of it, as if it is valid. A test which consisted of only three multiple choice items would not convince students of its face validity however reliable or practical teachers thought it to be

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz


Characteristics of a good test cont1

Characteristics of a good test cont.

Reliability:

A good test should give consistent results. For example, if the same group of students took the same test twice within two days - without reflecting on the first test before they sat it again - they should get the same results on each occasion. If they took another similar test, the results should be consistent. If two groups who were demonstrably alike took the test, the marking range would be the same.

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz


Characteristics of a good test cont2

Characteristics of a good test cont.

  • In practice, 'reliability' is enhanced by making the test instructions absolutely clear, restricting the scope for variety in the answers, and making sure that test conditions remain constant. Reliability also depends on the people who mark the tests - the scorers. Clearly a test is unreliable if the result depends to any large extent on who is marking it. Much thought has gone into making the scoring of tests as reliable as possible

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz


Questioning strategies

Questioning Strategies:

Questioning strategies refer to the arrangements T uses when directing questions in class. Sometimes they are referred to as 'nomination strategies". Four of these strategies are dealt with in the following section. None of them is ideal. Each questioning strategy has its advantages and its disadvantages.

  • Strategy 1

    T asks the question and lets any of the Ss answer. No permission for talking is required.

    e.g. T Where is Noha?

    Any S: She is absent today.

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz


Questioning strategies cont

Questioning Strategies cont.

One advantage of this strategy is that it encourages shy and hesitant Ss to participate in class activities. When the question is rather difficult, allowing any S to answer will save the class time.

Yet, this strategy may cause a lot of noisy in class. If Sl sitting in the left corner speaks simultaneously with S2 sitting in the right corner, with a third S who is sitting in the middle, discipline will be lost and work on task runs in a very uncontrolled way. Moreover, only advanced Ss will dominate class discussions giving the weaker Ss no opportunity to participate in class-work. The result is that weak students grow weaker and weaker day after day. They become more frustrated and feel that they do not belong to the class but they are outsiders. They feel unwilling to participate in class activity.

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz


Questioning strategies cont1

Questioning Strategies cont.

Strategy 2:

T asks the question, pauses to give all the Ss a chance to think of the answer. Ss who know the answer are asked to raise the hands. Then T selects one from them to answer. None of Ss is allowed to talk without being called on.

This strategy gives valuable opportunities to Ss to think of the answer. The time between directing the question and calling on a student answer is called the 'wait time'. Many studies have investigated 1 suitable length of the wait time. It may range from 20 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on the linguistic and cognitive nature of the question. T can find out whether waiting longer is useful or valueless. Once T finds that more time is valueless, T has to call on a S to answer.

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz


Questioning strategies cont2

Questioning Strategies cont.

  • This strategy also keeps discipline in the class. Also it creates competition among Ss. Each of them wants to answer the largest number of the questions. Although nobody is allowed to answer without being called on, Ss who raise their hands, and due to hot competition shout roughly, "Me, Mr. - Yes Miss", causing a deafening noise. Some will even stand up, leave their places, and come to the T's seat.

  • However, lazy Ss will still be lazy. They will not participate since there is no obligation to do that. There is no direct threat to make them share in class-work. In addition shy Ss will hesitate to raise their hands even when they are sure of the correct answer since they do not have competitive nature.

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz


Questioning strategies cont3

Questioning Strategies cont.

Strategy 3:

  • T asks the question and pauses. T does not allow anyone to raise one's hand. At the end of the wait time, T calls on a S to answer.

  • An advantage of this strategy is that everybody is expected to be called upon. In this strategy everything is under full control. Lazy and shy Ss may be called on. T distributes the questions among all Ss. If T has not been able to recognize the Ss' names yet, T can put the Ss ' name list on his/her desk and call names from it. T can also design a seating chart that denotes the name and the seat of every S. Noise is avoided. Yet T may call on Ss that stumble in the answer one after another, giving wrong answer. Besides wasting the class time, much frustration is experienced and unsuitable models are demonstrated. T can be reasonable enough to select the 'right' S for the 'right' question.

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz


Questioning strategies cont4

Questioning Strategies cont.

Strategy 4:

T calls on a S then asks the question. T pauses while the nominated S thinks of the answer. After the wait time, the nominated S delivers the answer.

Here again the class is quiet and disciplined. At the beginning, and before the 'victim' has been called on everybody is attentive. One delimitation of this strategy is that once the teacher nominates a S, other Ss feel that the 'battle is no longer theirs". They are relaxed while the nominated S is sweating and under stress. This strategy may be more successful for testing purposes.

The end

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz


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