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Tests and my new paradigm

September 23, 2011

It’s testing week for me which of course means stressed out high voiced people in my office more than usual. This will be my first go at actually grading things in a standards based manner. I wish I’d managed to get something in sooner than this. Ah well.

Looking at my first batch of tests (honors physics) I’m troubled. Not by the performances, we all need to start somewhere. I’m troubled because it looks like I didn’t write the tests all that well for use with SBG. I had my standards right next to me while I was writing the tests, I referenced them during my revision process, and still I feel like evaluating these concepts and the mastery thereof is going to be trickier than I’d envisioned. How do the pros handle a standard being touched on several times in a single test? Am I right in guessing that more frequent smaller assessments will smooth my life out a bit?

…time passes…

I just sat down with one of my AP students to go over her test. Having the conversation in the SBG paradigm was amazing. Instead of “you lost X points for Y reason and ended up at a 70%” she got specific feedback on how she did on the test, where she needs to improve and practice more, and tips on what she can do about it. Amazing. Now I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the other classes end up being so clear cut.

Even if ActiveGrade keeps being a pain in the butt I’m even more sold on this system. Of course, if neutrinos do go faster than light, perhaps all bets are off anyway and I shouldn’t worry about all this.

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