During week five of our ECS 410 Assessment and Evaluation Class we spent the majority of the class at learning stations. We broke up into our subject areas and took turns rotating to the different stations around the classroom. Each station represented a different knowledge of assessment and evaluating our students. I found this teaching method to be particularly useful for me as a learner because it made me responsible for the knowledge I attain. I think that developing this learner autonomy is so crucial for creating and nurturing life long learners. Like the Jigsaw strategy which I have researched, this formation of learning allows independent learning, but we also dependent upon others in our group in order to get the most out of each station.
I believe that sometimes its important for the teacher to take a step back and allow the students to be the leaders in the learning. It’s easy for us to always be in control and lead our class. However, our students need to learn independence and take interest in their own learning. When we get to collaborate and communicate with our fellow classmates, we are being active learners and a great amount of knowledge attainment is happening. Not only are we increasing our knowledge though, we are also developing our socializing, collaborating and communicating skills. Learning stations are a great teaching strategy, although they require a great deal of planning and preparation on the teacher’s part.
My favourite station was the one which discussed evaluation through testing. I found that tips on creating true and false quizzes as well as multiple choices quizzes was very informative. I had no idea some of the things that you are supposed to avoid doing in making these quizzes because I have experienced them all as a teacher. Things like not including an all of the above or none of the above as options were interesting and made me really think of the effectiveness of these tests. We had a great discussion on this type of evaluation, and we found that many people in our group really struggled with these tests even if we had the knowledge as we would often second guess ourselves.
I read a really interesting article by Vanderbilt University which discusses the effectiveness of multiple choice quizzes. It examines the three keys of the quizzes, validity, versatility, and reliability. These quizzes can be difficult for a teacher to create because word choice can either bring clarity or confusion. I like this article because it explains how to write an effective question and choices. It also provides examples which are helpful to refer to. Multiple choice quizzes can be an effective form of assessment and evaluation, but they must be carefully created by the teacher in order to provide clear and concise records and feedback.
Resources: Writing Good Multiple Choice Test Questions: by Cynthia J. Brame, CFT Assistant Director-Vanderbilt University