Practicing testing skills by teaching pupils to make tests themselves
Pupils have to learn how to handle different kinds of questions which are common in most tests, like: multiple choice, matching, matrix, etc. They will need these skills to be succesfull. Mastering these question formats will enable them to focus on the core of a question and answer it more adequately. Too often in my experience pupils get confused by the form of a question and give a wrong answer although they master the subject involved. This makes tests inadequate.
I made a room especially for making tests. Pupils have teacher's rights in this room. I wrote some explanation of different question formats on the front page and also a Fronter test about the peculiarities of different question formats. When they master this test, they are ready to make a test themselves.
I challenged pupils to make their own test about a History subject they had to prepare for an assessment and promised them to use as many of their selfmade questions as possible in my own official Fronter test on the History subject. This gives good testmakers not only pride but also a certain advantage when making the test and being confronted with their own questions which they had of course prepared very well.
For the smarter pupils there is a great challenge in learning how to master the more difficult question formats such as matrix questions or questions with embedded video (Youtube).
I was surprised by the quick mastering of most question formats by my pupils. I also learned that the mistakes they made are most useful to explain how to read and understand these questions.
I could use many questions, sometimes slightly altered, in my own test - and now I have a large 'database' of questions that I can use for many years on this subject.
Pupils certainly benefited from this testing course, not only for History, but for all subjects in which these question formats are commonly used. It made also clear that the test module is easy and transparant to use. I can only hope it will be extended with many more question formats.
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Oranje Nassau College, Parkdreef, Zoetermeer