Friday, February 19, 2010

And Yet Another Reason

Many of my students have really had a tough time with solving equations with absolute value on both sides. If the test happens to be multiple choice, then they just work backwards by plugging the answer choices into the original equations. I found a way to combat that and still be able to administer the test via our network.

Short answers are allowed and the Test Player has a space for students to explain their process and submit a numeric answer. All I have to do is manually enter the number of points a student earned on each problem.

Once students have completed an exam, they receive a feedback sheet explaining what they missed and why. The rationale for each problem has been created for most of the problems in any test generator. However, since I've been creating many of the problems myself, I have to build the rationale into the problem using the algorithm definitions used in the problem itself.
So this:

Becomes this:

This becomes very convenient when it comes to online study guides as students and parents can go through the problems, see if they are correct and then, if a problem was missed, see why it was missed.


Matt Townsley said...

Okay, David. I admit that I really like what you're doing with Examview. You've obviously put a lot of time into working out the kinks. It's one thing to live with the limitations of multiple choice assessments, but you've gone the extra mile to create short answer questions AND input feedback commentary. My question for you the return of your time investment worth it? Are the students/parents getting as much out of the feedback, study guides, etc. as you are putting into it?

David Cox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Cox said...

Great question, Matt. The initial time investment has come on the front end when I built the original tests. That took about 8 hours, but I was given release time to do it. We have a pretty good handle on our skill sets, which have been three years on the making, and that has made deciding what types of problems we want to ask much easier. At the end of the day, I think this time would have (or should have) been spent either way.

All I'm doing extra is learning how to define variables and algorithms and then plugging those into a problem and then a rationale. One good problem may take 15-30 minutes to build. Exporting to HTML and posting online takes but a few mouse clicks. Students have been accessing them as they prepare for re assessment and this whole process has streamlined my organization. All in all, I'd say, yeah, it's been worth it.

Trust me, I have five children at home so I'm not going to put in unnecessary work in on the front end if it doesn't translate to efficiency on the back end. I just don't have that kind of time. The ability to provide multiple forms if an assessment via our network and now to easily let some problems be free response has allowed me to differentiate much more effectively.