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Query Me This: Assignment and Test Creation

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  1. Query Me This: Assignment and Test Creation Tuesday July 10, 2012

  2. Agenda • Review • Why do we have assignments/ tests? (Discussion) • Creating Assignments for a Multi-Community Classroom • Critical Thinking/ Critical Reading • Types of Assessments • Written Assessment • Multiple Choice Assessment • Evaluations

  3. (Review) Workshop 2: Lesson Planning • Other types of lesson plans • available on the website • Follow up Question: Have you tried using this format or another?

  4. Small Group Discussion • Why assess students? • Grades: For or against? Why? • Should tests be hard or easy? Why? Define hard or easy. • To pass my class, you have to…

  5. Discussion • What kinds of assignments have you done?

  6. Think – Pair - Share • Give an example of a poor assignment or test that either you have taken or that you give your students. What was your goal for it/ what do you think your teacher’s goal was for you? What were some of the problems? Why was the assignment not successful?

  7. Research and Reflection on Teaching International Students http://vimeo.com/11713058

  8. Teaching Across Culture http://vimeo.com/25038659

  9. Discussion • It is a teacher’s responsibility to adjust their teaching or assignment to students needs/ backgrounds. What are the consequences of this? • It is the student’s responsibility to catch up when they don’t understand what is happening. What are the consequences of this?

  10. Critical Thinking/ Critical Reading • Really, it comes down to the role of the teacher. • The teaching of critical thinking is thus rooted in the teacher’s design of critical thinking tasks that make the course problem-centered instead of text- or assignment- centered. • Critical Thinking Handout (website) • Critical Reading Handout (website)

  11. (Some) Critical Thinking Tasks • Ask students to teach difficult concepts in your course to a new learner. • Write a procedure for finding the number of m modulo n that a fifth grader could understand. • Explain to your Grandmother why water stays in a pail when swung in a vertical circle around your head. • Give students a controversial thesis to defend or attack. • People suffering from schizophrenia or manic-depressive disorder should/ should not be forced to take their medication. • An electric dipole is placed above an infinitely conducting plane. The dipole does/does not feel a net force or a torque. Explain. • Think of a controversy in your field, and ask students to write a dialogue between characters with different points of view. • For the design application we have been studying, your design team has proposed four alternative solutions: conventional steel roller bearings, ceramic bearings, air bearings, and magnetic bearings. As a team, write a dialogue in which each team member argues the case for one of the alternative solutions and shows weaknesses in the other solutions.

  12. Critical Reading Assignments • Marginal Notes • Every time you feel the urge to highlight or underline something write out why you wanted to underline it in the margins. • Focused Reading Notes • 4-5 columns with headings of key word or phrase identifying a theme or concept you want them to be aware of as they read. • Multiple Choice Quiz Questions Developed by Students • Translations (your own words)

  13. Don’t forget: You can copy-paste this slide into other presentations, and move or resize the poll. Poll: What is your most commonly used/favorite...

  14. Don’t forget: You can copy-paste this slide into other presentations, and move or resize the poll. Poll: What is your least favorite form of asse...

  15. Why do we have assignments and tests?

  16. Bloom’sTaxonomy describe, identify, label, list, match, outline, reproduce, select, state

  17. Bloom’sTaxonomy distinguish, explain, generalize, paraphrase, predict, rewrite, summarize

  18. Bloom’sTaxonomy change, demonstrate, manipulate, modify, produce, relate, show, solve, use

  19. Bloom’sTaxonomy break down, differentiate, infer, outline, relate, separate, subdivide

  20. Bloom’sTaxonomy Also known as “Creating” combine, create, design, modify, revise, rewrite, tell, write

  21. Bloom’sTaxonomy compare, contrast, criticize, justify, interpret, relate, summarize, support

  22. Written Assessments • Strengths • effective way to measure higher-level cognitive objectives • less time-consuming to construct • Students do not memorize facts, but try to geta broad understanding of complex ideas, to see relationships, etc • They present a more realistic task to the student. In real life, questions will not be presented in a multiple-choice format

  23. Written Assessments cont. • Limitations • Essay items sample less of the content from the course. • They require a long time to read and score. • They are difficult to score objectively and reliably. • Bias in Scoring: • Different scores may be assigned by different readers or by the same reader at differenttimes. • Context matters; an essay preceded by a top quality essay receives lower marks than when preceded by a poor quality essay. • Scores are influenced by the expectations that the reader has for the student’s performance. • Scores are influenced by quality of handwriting, neatness, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, etc.

  24. Designing an Essay Question • Clearly define the learning outcome to be assessed by this essay. • Students will appreciate the process of cell division. • Given a chart illustrating the process of cell division, students will compare and contrast each major step in the process. • Typically a learning outcome will begin with a specific directive verb. The outcome statement will describe the observable behavior, action or outcome that students should demonstrate

  25. Designing an essay question cont. • Avoid using essay questions for intended learning outcomes that are better assessed with other kinds of assessment. • Formulate the question so that the task is clearly defined for the student. Words like discuss and explain can be ambiguous. If you use “discuss”, then give specific instructions as to what points should be discussed. Don’t be vague. • Use several relatively short essay questions rather than one long one.

  26. Action Verbs Defend Define Describe Design Develop Differentiate Explain Evaluate Evaluate Generate • Identify • Illustrate • Infer • Interpret • Justify • List • Predict • Propose • Recognize • Recall • Summarize • Analyze • Apply • Attribute • Classify • Compare • Compose • Contrast • Create • Criticize • Critique

  27. Example Assignment • In preparation for making sense of your college-level assignments, take a minute to write out what each of the following terms means to you: inform, describe, evaluate, explain, analyze, classify, define, explore, formulate, propose • Working with one or two classmates, compare your answers. Discuss your group’s response with the rest of the class.

  28. Fixing an Essay Question • Evaluate the impact of the Industrial Revolution on England. • The impact on what in England? The economy? Foreign trade? A particular group of people? Evaluate? Based on what criteria? The significance of the Revolution? The quality of life in England? Progress in technological advancements? What exactly do you want me to do in my evaluation? • Evaluate the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the family in England. • Evaluate the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the role of fathers in poor communities in England. • Evaluate the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the role of fathers in poor communities of England based on whether or not the Industrial Revolution improved fathers’ abilities to provide the material necessities of life and education and training for their children. • Evaluate the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the role of fathers in poor communities of England based on whether or not the Industrial Revolution improved fathers’ abilities to provide the material necessities of life and education and training for their children. Explain how the role of a father as provider changed with the Industrial Revolution and whether or not the changes were an improvement for fathers striving to provide for their children.

  29. Writing doesn’t matter in my class. Written assessments – shmessments… • Students hate to write, so they will resent my assigning writing. • Students should already know how to write. • It’s too much work to correct all those papers. • It’s the English Department’s responsibility to teach writing, it’s not my job. • I don’t know enough to correct the student’s papers. • Many of my students are non-native speakers of English, and I’m not qualified to help them. • The kind of writing expected in my field is very specialized, and we don’t write very much. • Writing is irrelevant to the goals of my course.

  30. Incorporating Writing Assignments into Your Course (for all disciplines) • Short Answer • At the beginning of class ask the class to respond in writing to several short factual questions (from the reading, from lecture). The responses can be just one or two sentences. • Short Essay • Before discussing a topic, ask students to write brief accounts of what they already know about the subject or what opinions they hold. • Memo Recommending Action • Ask students to write a memo that convincingly summarizes their recommendations to colleagues concerning an upcoming policy decision. • Grant Writing/ Project Writing • Have students write about their reading/ lecture or ideas in a way to encourage someone to give them funding to continue or replicate the ideas. • Writing about Problem Sets • Rather than asking students to provide the formulas or answers, ask them to describe in writing how they would go about solving the problem.

  31. Multiple Choice Questions: BasicTips

  32. Next Week (Time Change) • 1:15 – 3:15 (Garrison Room) • Create a small examination of your choice (term paper prompt, multiple choice, etc.) and accompany it with a paragraph explaining how you would prepare your students to answer the question, what level of thought the test engages them on, and what their best answer would look like. (Post to the website by Monday, July 16)