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"Improving Learning" = Higher test scores
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Trekkie_Aspie Offline
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Post: #1
"Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

We all know this is bullshit but it is the cultural attitude. How do we change it?

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05-19-2013 07:19 PM
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SmokeyTheAggie Offline
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RE: "Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Show evidence that testing is based more on memorization then actual understanding of the subject.

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05-20-2013 09:11 AM
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RE: "Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Here's a recent video that addresses that topic. It's more of an advertisement than evidence, but it features one person's experience disliking assessment by standardized tests.



Watch on YouTube

Here's are two responses I wrote in Beyond School:

Quote:It's a good video, but I think it's *grades* that has more of an impact on most students than standardized tests. Grades are the ugly thing that come back again and again, supposedly define people's future. Grades are arguably calculated based on formulas at least as meaningless as standardized tests. Grades are the things that get kids in trouble with their parents.

When there's much scrutiny of what grades mean as standardized tests, I think things will have a much better chance of changing.

Nikhil Goyal's talk Stop Waiting for the World to Change puts the concept of grades through the ringer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JVlwb9cqYU

and

Quote:In my case, I did well on standardized tests, I even liked them, but I got horrible grades. I didn't believe in them, but it's hard not to absorb the message that your grades will determine your future (not to mention immediate rewards and punishments.)

The question with any of these assessments is, what do they actually represent? There is such a thing as being good or bad at a given task, completing work or not, and getting better at things. Determining progress somehow can be useful. How to do that best is something to discuss.

But certainly, getting locked into the idea that one has a fixed level of ability due to one assessment is something to combat.

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RE: "Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Higher grades and higher test scores, then.

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05-20-2013 05:17 PM
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Post: #5
"Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Ask people if they had to redo their last graduation exam now (5-500 years later), if they would be able to pass without studying again.

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Trekkie_Aspie Offline
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RE: "Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

So, knock up some sort of survey?

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05-20-2013 10:25 PM
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Potato Offline
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Post: #7
"Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Quote:"Improving Learning" = Higher test scores
We all know this is bullshit but it is the cultural attitude.

tests measure knowledge, or information that has been stored in the brain. and learning is just the brain acquiring knowledge. so higher test scores do indicate "improved learning."

Quote:Show evidence that testing is based more on memorization then actual understanding of the subject.

in tests such as the SAT, you rely on understanding, not just memorization. you don't know what's going to be on the test, and you can't memorize the answer to every possible math or grammar problem that could exist. it makes sense for history tests to be based on memorization though, there is no reason why it shouldn't be.

anyway. school and home work (busy-work, or mini-tests in needlessly large quantities), takes up years of your life; a midterm, a final, or a SAT only take a few hours. too many people have unfairly low grades because they've wasted less of their time with busy-work. tests minimize the students' level of tolerance for boredom as a contributing factor to their grades. they have to rank people by their level of education, or knowledge, somehow; and there is no better way to do that than by testing.

that's not saying that tests can't be improved to measure knowledge on a deeper level
05-20-2013 10:54 PM
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Potato Offline
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Post: #8
"Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Quote:Ask people if they had to redo their last graduation exam now (5-500 years later), if they would be able to pass without studying again.

that doesn't disprove the link between learning more and doing better on tests. a random person who did better than someone else on a test is more likely to do better than the other person on the same test 5-500 years later.
05-20-2013 11:18 PM
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Trekkie_Aspie Offline
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RE: "Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

No, they don't. They test memorisation. That's a difference between learning and memorising. Higher test scores indicate improved memory. No, you can't memorise every answer but there is such a thing as past paper and memorising all the potential types of answer the examiners want.

Case in point: When I did SAT work, there was a question on the maths paper that was to do with division: I tackled it the way I had been taught. When we got our papers back, that answer was correct. I had no idea WHY it was correct - I just spat out the steps that were taught that didn't make much sense to me. As far as I understood, you put this bit down then that bit down and that somehow led to that bit. What I did was essentially walk blindfolded, leaving nuts over my shoulder. I had no idea where I was going, I had no idea what I was doing, I was just throwing the nuts.

I think you grossly underestimate how much time SATs, GCSEs and other exams take. Remember, schools are judged on these scores in league tables. League tables determine things like funding so what's the best way to get more funding? Everyone needs more money.

Upper Schools here get judged on how many students get at least five GCSES - A*C including English, Maths and Science. Note that this is judged on the grades at GCSE and nothing else. GCSE is from Yr10 - Yr11. Upper school is for Yr9-Yr11

First off, the Yr9s are rather neglected, except maybe they're tracked to see where to put them in Yr10. This leads to three groups:

A: Will never get 5 A*C, including English, Maths and Science
B: May or May not get 5 A*C, including English, Maths and Science
C: Will always get 5 A*C, including English, Maths and Science.

In any given subject, there would be a spectrum of abilities - quick rundown on the grades first though:

A* A, B, C, D, E, F, G, U

U is a failure - A*-G is a pass.

A* is the best grade possible.
A is the next best thing
B is still impressive
C is a high pass
D is officially a pass but it's treated as a fail anyway,
Same for E
Same for F
Same for G
An ungraded is a failure


You teach a subject, let's say, woodwork. Management is on your case about getting those league tables up. You need the extra funding for new equipment, anyway.

Of your borderline grade students, you have:

Adam is an A*/A student (Do nothing - he'll get an A, help - he'll get an A*)
Emerson is an A/B student
Lesley is a B/C student
Raven is a C/D student
Evelyn is a D/E student
Dee is an E/F student
Jess is an F/G student
Pearl is a G/U Student

You only have time to help one of these - you need to get as many Cs as possible. Go on, pick someone to help.

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05-20-2013 11:34 PM
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Trekkie_Aspie Offline
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RE: "Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

While you're thinking, you can do actual woodwork (which isn't reflected in the grades and therefore doesn't count) or you can do mock tests which allow your students to anticipate the type of exam questions that may come up which may well be reflected in the grades...

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05-20-2013 11:56 PM
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Potato Offline
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Post: #11
"Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Quote:No, you can't memorise every answer but there is such a thing as past paper and memorising all the potential types of answer the examiners want.


you still have to solve the problems to get the answer.

Quote:Case in point: When I did SAT work, there was a question on the maths paper that was to do with division: I tackled it the way I had been taught. When we got our papers back, that answer was correct. I had no idea WHY it was correct - I just spat out the steps that were taught that didn't make much sense to me. As far as I understood, you put this bit down then that bit down and that somehow led to that bit. What I did was essentially walk blindfolded, leaving nuts over my shoulder. I had no idea where I was going, I had no idea what I was doing, I was just throwing the nuts.

i get that tests do not evaluate knowledge on as deep a level as you would like. i'm not saying all tests are made perfectly, all i'm saying is that there is no better format for evaluating and ranking students than by testing, because they are infrequent and use up less time, thereby minimizing boredom from pointless work as a contributing factor to grades. it's a better alternative than basing graduation requirements and grades on class attendance, or home-and-classwork completion. test scores BETTER evaluate how much the students have learned THAN classwork/homework grades or class attendance. tests are flawed in the sense that they aren't perfect but they're still the best option there is for evaluating students when you freaking compare it with the other options.

Quote:I think you grossly underestimate how much time SATs, GCSEs and other exams take.


i don't think i am. and i could underestimate it by a gazillion orders of magnitude and tests would still take up less time than everyday busy-work, it's not even close.

so if you hate tests so much wtf do you propose as a solution, improve them to better evaluate depth of knowledge, replace them with everyday homework/schoolwork for grading so that grades are determined by how much time the students are willing to waste, or completely outlaw any form of grading so that every student is equal like in some kind of communist state???
05-21-2013 04:28 PM
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RE: "Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Okay. perhaps not all tests. But the tests as they are now simply DO NOT measure learning. It's only the best system we have when you compare it to classwork. Classwork or test = false dilemma. I do think you underestimate how much time they take. 3 hours for the actual exam, 2 hours for each mock, *3 = 8 hours. One test takes the equivalent of a whole school day. Yes, it takes up less time than normal busy-work but that still doesn't mean it only takes a little bit of time. I don't hate tests. I hate tests in their current form. I don't know what communist is and I don't need to. But, as it stands, I don't think your grades actually tell me anything worth knowing.

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05-21-2013 05:06 PM
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RE: "Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Students who refuse to take the tests or don't try aren't even awarded any extra points for critical thinking.

If you want to be a different fish, you've got to jump out of the school.


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05-21-2013 07:44 PM
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RE: "Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Nor are they awarded, according to priorities. Sorry, but there is a world of difference between not taking the test because you're lazy and not taking it because you're busy dealing with your suicidal friend, as an example off the top of my head. That's the sort of information I would like to know, but your grade doesn't tell me it.

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05-21-2013 07:53 PM
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Potato Offline
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Post: #15
"Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Quote:But the tests as they are now simply DO NOT measure learning.
test scores are based on the students' ability to answer test questions correctly and that ability must be learned

Quote:It's only the best system we have when you compare it to classwork. Classwork or test = false dilemma.
how the hell is it a false dilemma?

Quote:I do think you underestimate how much time they take. 3 hours for the actual exam, 2 hours for each mock, *3 = 8 hours.
i said "a few hours"

Quote:Yes, it takes up less time than normal busy-work but that still doesn't mean it only takes a little bit of time.

i said it takes less time than schoolwork/homework, i didn't say "it only takes a little bit of time."

Quote:I don't think your grades actually tell me anything worth knowing.

most of your grades are determined by busy-work completion, tests make up a small portion, at least in florida. in china, the midterm and final makes up 100% of ur grade, i think. imagine how that could be like, to be able to ignore an essay assignment and have no reason to worry.

Quote:Students who refuse to take the tests or don't try aren't even awarded any extra points for critical thinking.
good. critical thinking would have led to the conclusion that tests are reasonably short and infrequent, that they should account for all of grades because test scores reflect the students' understanding of school subjects as least as well as homework/schoolwork scores, and boredom is less of a factor making test scores probably more accurate and more fair.

Quote: Sorry, but there is a world of difference between not taking the test because you're lazy and not taking it because you're busy dealing with your suicidal friend, as an example off the top of my head.
lol. u can probably go take the test and ur suicidal friend is still going to be suicidal when you get back. if you mean you haven't studied for the test and learned the ability to correctly answer test questions because you had to deal with ur suicidal friend, then that just reinforces the point that tests do measure learning.
(This post was last modified: 05-21-2013 10:03 PM by Potato.)
05-21-2013 10:02 PM
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RE: "Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Yes, they're based on the ability of students to answer tests. It's a false dilemma because there is more than 'busywork' or 'exam' as ways to test someone.

Essay on the topic

Scrapbook on the topic

Powerpoint presentation on the topic

Video talk with visual aids

Graph a concept or experiment

Chart on a concept

Map

Model

Create a quiz game related to a unit

Create recipes and make a cookbook (for home ec)

Write a short story including a concept learned (such as 'story of a fossil)

Learning journal: what I know, want to learn, learned

Tests: objective, dictation, practical, essay

Make a lesson plan to teach a concept to younger children

Make worksheets or other activities for younger children

Movie: make a short film on the concept

Make a crossword puzzle related to the concept

You said it only takes a few hours. It doesn't when you count in test-prep.

No, they do not measure understanding of the school subjects at all. They measure understanding of the history test or whatever. It's kinda like money in that way - everyone agrees they're worth something but they're just NOT.

Or your suicidal friend could, y'know, be dead.

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05-21-2013 10:39 PM
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Post: #17
"Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

(05-21-2013 10:02 PM)Potato Wrote:  
Quote:But the tests as they are now simply DO NOT measure learning.
test scores are based on the students' ability to answer test questions correctly and that ability must be learned

I think the tests do measure something. Some questions can be criticized, and a lot of important things probably aren't on the test, but they do measure something. The question is, what should be measured and what's the best way to do it. I also think there's a role for "testing" after the fact, for example years later, which is currently only done on surveys that get published in the press that say how little many Americans know about science or history or what not.

(05-21-2013 10:02 PM)Potato Wrote:  
Quote:I don't think your grades actually tell me anything worth knowing.

most of your grades are determined by busy-work completion, tests make up a small portion, at least in florida. in china, the midterm and final makes up 100% of ur grade, i think. imagine how that could be like, to be able to ignore an essay assignment and have no reason to worry.

Yeah, I always preferred tests in school because they were much easier and more sensible to me than busywork. I liked college for that reason (at first), because a lot of classes were based on lectures I could go to and then take a test. Some people struggle more with tests and prefer to be graded on busywork. Ultimately, though, there's the question of what the grades and assessments mean overall. This goes back to the "why doesn't school teach us anything useful?" question, and the question of what is necessary knowledge (or desirable knowledge.)

http://forums.school-survival.net/showth...?tid=29035
http://forums.school-survival.net/showth...p?tid=9142

(05-21-2013 10:02 PM)Potato Wrote:  
Quote:Students who refuse to take the tests or don't try aren't even awarded any extra points for critical thinking.
good. critical thinking would have led to the conclusion that tests are reasonably short and infrequent, that they should account for all of grades because test scores reflect the students' understanding of school subjects as least as well as homework/schoolwork scores, and boredom is less of a factor making test scores probably more accurate and more fair.

I think there should be points (or something) awarded for questioning tests as well as other assignments. The key is to make reasonable challenges and propose something reasonable for replacement tasks and assessments. In fact, this strategy could be used when it comes to telling one's story, creating a resume, and so on.

Standardized testing *is* out of control in some places, taking up huge amounts of time to the detriment of other forms of teaching and learning. That said, those "other forms" have long needed to be questioned as well.

How will you help datapoint students who are standing up and speaking out
http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.co...dents.html

(05-21-2013 10:02 PM)Potato Wrote:  
Quote: Sorry, but there is a world of difference between not taking the test because you're lazy and not taking it because you're busy dealing with your suicidal friend, as an example off the top of my head.
lol. u can probably go take the test and ur suicidal friend is still going to be suicidal when you get back. if you mean you haven't studied for the test and learned the ability to correctly answer test questions because you had to deal with ur suicidal friend, then that just reinforces the point that tests do measure learning.

You're really missing the point there, Potato. There are different reasons for why people do things. Multiple factors can impact taking a test. Of course, there's the argument that people can "make excuses" and that there are "no excuses" for something important. Self-handicapping is a trap to watch out for. But dealing with complex life issues and situational drama can be a lot more complicated than you make it out to be. Not to mention if a person is personally depressed, perhaps partially due to school itself. Then, add to the fact that some people don't believe the test (or grades) are relevant to their future, and the argument to "do the test at the cost of everything else!" gets even murkier.

Part of all of this comes down to priorities. How can one make reasonable strategic decisions, whether in the midst of situational drama and time constraints, or in situations where it feels like there's all the time in the world.

If tests make sense, how should they be used? The actual testing done in schools, whether standardized or teacher-assigned, comes out of a rather murky process itself. Why isn't test design incorporated into what people are expected to learn? That might help people better appreciate what tests do, and what they don't.

Tests can actually be very useful both as motivation and feedback if they're done well and people buy into them. Think about video games. Most of them constantly test the players and players find it entertaining if done well. When it comes to education, the goal isn't only entertainment, but also learning something meaningful and somehow signaling that learning to others. Tests are just one way to do both of those things, if done well.

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05-21-2013 11:16 PM
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Post: #18
"Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Quote:It's a false dilemma because there is more than 'busywork' or 'exam' as ways to test someone.

what you listed after that belong in the "busy-work" category because they contain unnecessary steps. "Make a crossword puzzle related to the concept" is making cross-word puzzles really necessary, no, crossword puzzles are busy-work. "Essay on the topic" essays are graded very subjectively and allow for bias.

tests contain questions that each have one correct invariable answer; they do not allow for bias in the grading process, and do not contain any unnecessary steps, such as making a fuqing crossword puzzle, teaching younger children, making films, or some of the other crap you listed. the lack of unnecessary steps minimize the effect of boredom on grade, and grade should be a reflection of the students' ability to demonstrate knowledge, not of their ability to tolerate boredom from unnecessary, unpaid, pointless work, such as making movies or powerpoint and all that bullshit.

Quote:No, they do not measure understanding of the school subjects at all.
repeating the same false statement over and over doesn't make it true. question: one person scored 100 on a test, another person scored 50, who the fuck do you think better understand the subject? well, if you think that tests "don't measure understanding of school subjects at all" you answer should be "insufficient data" or something, but that would just really show a lack of common sense, no offense

Quote:Yeah, I always preferred tests in school because they were much easier and more sensible to me than busywork.
LOL THAT'S BECAUSE THEY ARE

Quote:Some people struggle more with tests and prefer to be graded on busywork.
the things is, people who can't get the right answer on the tests, CAN'T GET THE RIGHT ANSWER. if they understood the subject maybe they'd have a better chance at getting the freaking right answer.

Quote:You're really missing the point there, Potato.
it was a fallacious point. if you don't having the time to take a freaking test, you won't have time to finish the piles of homework/schoolwork. suicidal friend screws up your grade either way

btw xcriteria you need to split up ur third quote box
(This post was last modified: 05-22-2013 05:44 AM by Potato.)
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RE: "Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Only if you're measuring maths. If you're measuring English, there absolutely is a possibility for bias in the grader. No, it wouldn't be "make a powerpoint.", it would be "Here's a list of things you can do to show your understanding. Pick one." grade should be a reflection of the students' ability to demonstrate knowledge. Which is exactly why I have a problem with it. I mean, what does a "C" actually tell you about someone's intelligence?

the things is, people who can't get the right answer on the tests, CAN'T GET THE RIGHT ANSWER. if they understood the subject maybe they'd have a better chance at getting the freaking right answer. Right, because someone who remembers five minutes earlier is smarter than someone who remembers five minutes later. Nope, not really. Besides, this is now a probability excercise. Useful for giving you some numbers to work with but not really applicable to real life.

My answer is "insufficient data." Why does that admission show a lack of common sense? Maybe the person who got an 80 knew all the answers but it didn't show up on paper, due to a disability or something. Maybe the person who got 100 just wrote down the answers they were taught went with those questions . Maybe the 100 person is better at exam skills in general, like not panicking. Maybe the person who got an 80 didn't understand what some of the questions were asking for, despite knowing the material. How it works in the test: If you don't know what the question's asking, you're screwed. How it works in real life: "I'm sorry, please could you rephrase that question?"


How it works in the test: You forgot something because you panicked. You're screwed. How it works in real life: "Excuse me, I need to go check my reference manual."


I think the tests do measure something. Some questions can be criticized, and a lot of important things probably aren't on the test, but they do measure something. Yup, they measure whether you got a C or a B or whatever. I agree that they measure something - where I disagree is that they measure learning.

The point is not that they're more sensible or less sensible than coursework - the point is that there are more sensible options. We need to find them.

You're right. Repeating the false statement over and over doesn't make it true - that applies whichever way the debate is though.

You're right - suicidal friend screws up your grade either way. So does truanting out of laziness. But, if they're both a "F", they're both an "F." Excuse me if I think the lack of distinction here is a rather huge problem.


Mary got an "A" because she cheated and was smart enough not to get caught.
Jane got an "A" because she's better at exam skills in general.
Patrica got an "A" because she actually understood the subject.


Thing is, though, Mary, Jane and Patrica are all "A"s. There is no distinction between them. There should be.

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stupid article
05-22-2013 06:40 AM
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Post: #20
RE: "Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

(05-20-2013 01:56 PM)xcriteria Wrote:  Here's a recent video that addresses that topic. It's more of an advertisement than evidence, but it features one person's experience disliking assessment by standardized tests.



Watch on YouTube

Here's are two responses I wrote in Beyond School:

Quote:It's a good video, but I think it's *grades* that has more of an impact on most students than standardized tests. Grades are the ugly thing that come back again and again, supposedly define people's future. Grades are arguably calculated based on formulas at least as meaningless as standardized tests. Grades are the things that get kids in trouble with their parents.

When there's much scrutiny of what grades mean as standardized tests, I think things will have a much better chance of changing.

Nikhil Goyal's talk Stop Waiting for the World to Change puts the concept of grades through the ringer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JVlwb9cqYU

and

Quote:In my case, I did well on standardized tests, I even liked them, but I got horrible grades. I didn't believe in them, but it's hard not to absorb the message that your grades will determine your future (not to mention immediate rewards and punishments.)

The question with any of these assessments is, what do they actually represent? There is such a thing as being good or bad at a given task, completing work or not, and getting better at things. Determining progress somehow can be useful. How to do that best is something to discuss.

But certainly, getting locked into the idea that one has a fixed level of ability due to one assessment is something to combat.

The video was great, since EQAO is coming up. Thanks. Smile

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05-22-2013 08:09 AM
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Post: #21
"Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Quote:If you're measuring English, there absolutely is a possibility for bias in the grader.
that's why i think essays and metaphor interpretation tasks are subjective bullshit. vocabulary and grammar proficiency can be measured without bias though.

Quote:Which is exactly why I have a problem with it. I mean, what does a "C" actually tell you about someone's intelligence?
school subject tests measure intelligence to a smaller extent compared to iq tests, they're mostly designed to measure knowledge.

Quote:Right, because someone who remembers five minutes earlier is smarter than someone who remembers five minutes later.
so if one person scores 100 and another person scores a 70, you can get them to retake the test after a 5 min break or something and have no idea who's going to score higher on the second run?

http://research.collegeboard.org/sites/d...ng-sat.pdf

on the fourth page of this link, you have some statistics showing how little scores change when students retake the test, it's not a matter of luck.

Quote:Besides, this is now a probability excercise. Useful for giving you some numbers to work with but not really applicable to real life.
probability is a model of how things work in real life, wtf are you even talking about, wtf do you mean "not applicable to real life"

Quote:My answer is "insufficient data." Why does that admission show a lack of common sense?
let me restate the question in case you misread. one person scored 100 on a test, another person scored 50, who do you think better understand the subject?

Quote:Maybe the person who got an 80 knew all the answers but it didn't show up on paper, due to a disability or something.

u mean an immobile person like Stephen hawking? what kind of disability makes a person lose 20 points?

Quote:Maybe the person who got 100 just wrote down the answers they were taught went with those questions.

and the other ppl were too stupid to do the same? you're not going to replicate every experiment in person to verify all the information you learn in your science classes, because that's freaking impossible, ppl study from books for a reason. and about math, intuition helps you remember stuff but the whole point of math is to solve problems through shortcuts so you don't have to get 6 piles of 7 rocks to count the product, or try out random solutions to an equation until one works, the whole point is getting to the answer as easily as possible. having an intuition does give you an edge, but that's not the point.

Quote:Maybe the 100 person is better at exam skills in general, like not panicking.

talk about real life, not being able to apply knowledge when you need to is as good as not having it.

Quote:Maybe the person who got an 80 didn't understand what some of the questions were asking for, despite knowing the material.

the ability to understand questions is kinda part of what they're trying to test, that's why they have word problems for math.

Quote:I agree that they measure something - where I disagree is that they measure learning.
it's not freaking mind-reading, it's not freaking magic. it measures the percentage of test questions that were answered correctly, obviously, and answering more questions correctly correlates with learning to answer more questions correctly, and that involves learning to understand the subject

Quote:The point is not that they're more sensible or less sensible than coursework - the point is that there are more sensible options. We need to find them.
it might be centuries before ppl develop that kind of mind-reading technology to go in your head and see what you really understand

Quote:You're right - suicidal friend screws up your grade either way. So does truanting out of laziness. But, if they're both a "F", they're both an "F." Excuse me if I think the lack of distinction here is a rather huge problem.

well duh. the lack of distinction is exactly what i've been trying to point out

Quote:Mary got an "A" because she cheated and was smart enough not to get caught.
cheating up As on homework/schoolwork is just as bad

Quote:Jane got an "A" because she's better at exam skills in general.
right...bubbling in those circles neatly is as important as getting the right answers...
05-22-2013 10:43 AM
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Post: #22
RE: "Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

I have some stastics that say 20% of retakes are successes: Now, I don't know what you think but I think that's rather a high number for people who don't repeat the academic year... I'm not sure how much skill can improve in six months.

Well, whatever, knowledge then. I still think the point applies. As for the scoring, you miss the point. How many times has someone asked you something that you didn't know the answer to and then you got back to them?

The reason it's not really applicable is because it gives you some numbers to work with but it is a model. Besides, humans as a species are spectacularly crap at predicting randomness. six coin flips: HHHTTT is just as likely as anything else but we generally identify that as rigged.

Just because you don't get the answer you agree with or the answer you wanted, doesn't mean that I misread the question. I don't think the test is a valid measure of knowledge. So, my answer, in case you misread it is "insufficient data"

I didn't have anything in particular in mind, I was just pointing out that there were lots of ways for what would otherwise have been an 100 to be an 80 that didn't have to do with knowledge.

Then I was just pointing out that even an 100 doesn't necessarily measure understanding of the subject.

There is a difference between exam panic and other panic, though. Let's start with the fact that no job interview ever involves something like "For the first twelve years, we're going to impress upon you how important this job is to your future."

Why? Why does that help at all? In real life, you can politely ask someone to rephrase the question. In the test, you're screwed.

I never said it was mind-reading or magic. I agree that it measures the percentage of test questions that were answered correctly. I don't agree that that involves learning to understand the subject. Mary didn't learn anything and she still got an A. If it involved learning to understand the subject, that would not be possible.

Well, I don't know why you're trying to point out the lack of distinction. I know it's there and I don't like that fact.

I don't recall saying anything about bubbling in circles. I said stuff about not panicking and about comprehension.

As for being centuries away from that kind of mind-reading technology? Maybe so. But... I don't recall ever saying it was easy. I said it was important.

I didn't say anything about mind-reading, either. I think the education system needs a reform. If you don't, fine, that's your opinion. If you just think it can't, then get the hell out of our way. There really is only one response SS can give to someone who says "You can't do that" in the sense of ability, rather than permission: Watch us.

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stupid article
05-23-2013 10:53 PM
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Post: #23
"Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Trekkie, I agree with your basic points but I think tests can be useful and measure some useful things. The question then becomes where and when they're appropriate. It's important to consider a variety of assessments and pick the right tool for the job.

One role tests can play is as a means of feedback for the learner, to discover what you already know. Take a map test, for example, naming countries. This does measure whether you know the names of the countries. As for *understanding* there are different levels of understanding. I'd say even knowing the names of things implies some level of understanding. How to measure beyond that is another question.

And, that's why assessment of performance or end products has as important place in the grand scheme of things, more so than is often done in schools. One reason for this is that tests are easier and cheaper than more sophisticated types of assessment. Another reason is that the results can be tabulated into reports on huge numbers of people easier than individualized assessment of real-world performance and outputs.

Check out this test-taking drone at a job interview:



Watch on YouTube

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05-24-2013 06:41 AM
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Post: #24
"Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Quote:As for the scoring, you miss the point. How many times has someone asked you something that you didn't know the answer to and then you got back to them?

the reason tests aren't open-book is to get people to demonstrate how much they remember and how well they remember it, the better you remember something, the more likely you are to remember it when you need to. my answer to your question is: a few times, because i couldn't remember, and had to remind myself by reviewing. so tests measure NOT how much people CAN know, it's how much they know, i think you're a bit confused about that.

Quote:The reason it's not really applicable is because it gives you some numbers to work with but it is a model. Besides, humans as a species are spectacularly crap at predicting randomness. six coin flips: HHHTTT is just as likely as anything else but we generally identify that as rigged.

HHHTTT is NOT "as likely as anything else." it's more likely than HHHHHH. you obviously don't have a clue about basic 2nd-grade-level probability (no offense) so you need to take care of that before deciding if it's applicable. http://www.basic-mathematics.com/coin-to...ility.html

Quote:Just because you don't get the answer you agree with or the answer you wanted, doesn't mean that I misread the question. I don't think the test is a valid measure of knowledge. So, my answer, in case you misread it is "insufficient data"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVVqrE143N4

knowing the answer or the method by which you get the answer allows for a better chance at correctly answering the question, and since test scores are based on the percentage of questions that were answered correctly, test scores measure how much of the answers or methods by which you get the answers were within your knowledge, so test scores do measure knowledge.

Quote:I didn't have anything in particular in mind, I was just pointing out that there were lots of ways for what would otherwise have been an 100 to be an 80 that didn't have to do with knowledge.

give me a few common examples

Quote:Then I was just pointing out that even an 100 doesn't necessarily measure understanding of the subject.

an 100 doesn't indicate complete understanding of the subject, but it does indicate a better understanding of the subject than a 70

Quote:There is a difference between exam panic and other panic, though. Let's start with the fact that no job interview ever involves something like "For the first twelve years, we're going to impress upon you how important this job is to your future."

what?? classes/homework/schoolwork takes years, but job interviews don't take 12 years and neither do tests-that's the great thing about it. you need to talk more clearly

Quote:Why? Why does that help at all? In real life, you can politely ask someone to rephrase the question. In the test, you're screwed.

word problem measure verbal reasoning skills and proficiency in applying math principles to real life problems. and yea, if you don't understand a generally understandable question you can look like a dumbass and ask for a rephrasing in real life, just like if you don't know the answer to a question is real life you can google it. if you hit a parked car in real life, u gtfo; if you hit a parked car in some drivers licence test, "you're screwed." the consequence is not the same as in real life (it's called a "test"), but the task is.

Quote:I agree that it measures the percentage of test questions that were answered correctly. I don't agree that that involves learning to understand the subject. Mary didn't learn anything and she still got an A. If it involved learning to understand the subject, that would not be possible.

Mary doesn't exist. quit making up stories and shit. you either knew the answers or the methods by which you get the answers when you were born, or you had to learn it, it's one or the other, and the first option is obviously not possible.

Quote:As for being centuries away from that kind of mind-reading technology? Maybe so. But... I don't recall ever saying it was easy. I said it was important.

yea the point is: tests are far better for us than any other methods that are possible with current technology such as busy-work (powerpoints, crosswords, etc) which are just tests bloated out from time-wasting unnecessary steps. so demanding that we put less emphasis on tests is just asking for a step back away from more result-based grading systems into the less efficient busy-work group-projects and other crap like that.

Quote:I think the education system needs a reform. If you don't, fine, that's your opinion. If you just think it can't, then get the hell out of our way. There really is only one response SS can give to someone who says "You can't do that" in the sense of ability, rather than permission: Watch us.

i also think that the education system needs reform, but i think it needs one that improve, not worsen what we have. tests are the quickest, most convenient way for students to demonstrate knowledge, and since general grades are are combination of busy-work and test grades (because THERE IS NOTHING ELSE), less emphasis on tests is the same as more emphasis on busy-work. and lmao "get the hell out of our way" ohhh that tough talk scares me shitless. ur so retarded that it's pathetic, no offense.
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05-24-2013 10:52 AM
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Post: #25
"Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Quote:One reason for this is that tests are easier and cheaper than more sophisticated types of assessment. Another reason is that the results can be tabulated into reports on huge numbers of people easier than individualized assessment of real-world performance and outputs.

it also doesn't allow for bias in the grading process
05-24-2013 11:09 AM
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Post: #26
RE: "Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

"HHHTTT is NOT "as likely as anything else." it's more likely than HHHHHH. " No, it isn't. This is exactly my point. You don't know the first thing about probability. Sure, 3 heads and 3 tails are more likely than 6 heads, but that isn't what the question asked. Had this been an exam in probability, you would have just dragged your grade down. Because it isn't , you can learn.


List has 64 entries.
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stupid article
05-24-2013 11:08 PM
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Post: #27
"Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Quote:Had this been an exam in probability, you would have just dragged your grade down.
lol that's exactly right. "HHHTTT" implied exact order and i should have seen that, but at least we an example that finally convinced you of the link between test scores and real life application of knowledge.
05-25-2013 12:17 AM
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RE: "Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

Yuh, I suppose. So, test scores are useful. They're the most useful measures we have as of right now but I still think we ought to be looking at better ways to measure learning. It won't be easy, but in a way, that's part of the point. I reckon education should be our generation's sputnik moment.

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05-25-2013 12:32 AM
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Post: #29
"Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

(05-25-2013 12:32 AM)Trekkie_Aspie Wrote:  Yuh, I suppose. So, test scores are useful. They're the most useful measures we have as of right now but I still think we ought to be looking at better ways to measure learning. It won't be easy, but in a way, that's part of the point. I reckon education should be our generation's sputnik moment.

I don't think it makes sense to say tests are "the most useful" -- they're useful for some things, not for others. One of the things they *are* useful for, from a "change education" perspective, is to demonstrate certain types of learning regardless of the source of learning. So, it's possible to demonstrate mastery of subjects like math, geography, grammar, and so on without being dependent on X years of classroom time with Ms. X.

Another thing to consider is that there are a variety of types of test. Multiple-choice and map tests are just one kind. Essay-based tests aren't machine-scorable (though some people are working on that), and may be more subjective, but given scoring and feedback from a person (or several people) they can be an indication of both knowledge and writing proficiency.

In the end, there's the question of what the purpose is of a given assessment. Is it for your personal benefit, to know what you've learned? Is it to demonstrate to your parents that you've learned something? To employers? To the people paying for your education (government, taxpayers, donors)?

Or is it to help your teachers/tutors/peers know where you're at so they can adapt teaching to your needs?

Assessment can be any or all of these, but overall it's an incredibly important topic to keep discussing. Also, I think it's important for people to learn about the nature of testing and assessment as part of education. Usually it's only discussed within school in higher-level college psychology classes. There's no reason that has to be the case.

Assessment within a class vs. "standardized" testing vs. other assessments

Much of the discussion around assessment of learning falls into a dichotomy: teachers assessing what they taught for the purposes of grades (or maybe to teach better), or standardized testing done from sources outside schools to see what large numbers of people know.

Neither of those do much for measuring learning people do on forums, social media, YouTube, on the job, or in everyday life. They certainly don't do much for assessing specialized knowledge or skills that aren't part of mainstream curriculum. Fortunately, there are other ways to measure learning and again, part of the education revolution needs to be to get people thinking about these.

Measuring your use of time

One of the broadest measures you might think if isn't just what you know or can do, but how well you use your time. I feel like a lot of my time in classrooms has been a waste, but I also think a lot of my time spent "learning on my own" hasn't been as productive as it might have been. This is the problem that sends a lot of people back to school. Jeff Bliss comes to mind as an example, dropping out but going back to school in order to pursue education.

However, I think there are ways to reflect on personal learning and do it better. These days, there are many more resources for learning available than even a few years ago, but there's still the question of how to use them most effectively. A big part of "improving learning" is simply trying to find a better way of using the large periods of time people tend to devote to learning, whether formal or informal.

Maybe the best way to start is to reflect on past learning and non-learning experiences and doing regular journaling of "moments of learning."

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05-25-2013 07:27 PM
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Post: #30
"Improving Learning" = Higher test scores

A large part of the usefulness of tests also depends on what questions they ask.

Like, knowing the date that something was invented vs understanding how it works, or what problems it solves. I've seen a lot of really dumb stupid pointless questions.

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