IN N O V A T IO N I r » L e a r n i n g
Fifth, the ambiguity of test questions. Test questions should be clear and in language that the student can understand. Sixth, the type of test. Many are prone to use one type o f ques tion for the entire exam, such as a true-false, matching, multiple choice, completion or essay. A true-false test encourages guess ing unless you take measures to protect against guesswork. One method is to ask the students, “ If you feel a question is false, indi cate that it is false and then cor rect the statement so that it reads true.” This eliminates the guess work and gives you a better pic ture of the child’s understanding. A test composed of various types of questions is much more valid. If you prepare your, own tests, keep these principles in focus. De termine the purpose of your test. Know what it is that you are try ing to measure. What provision have you made for the more ad vanced student in comparison to the average students? Will the test be a challenge to him as well as to the others? Carefully plan the test ques tions. No test should cover a very limited unit of work. There will be a few occasions when tests will not be related to a definite seg ment of work if you are using the test as a survey device such as testing the Bible knowledge of your congregation. Write good questions. Skill is necessary in the writing of test questions that communicate ef fectively the information that you are seeking. A good test should: First, give the students in the classroom a sense o f accomplish ment. Taking a test is a summar izing experience that causes a person to think. Second, challenge. Many consid er some o f the tests that they en counter nothing but a lark. Before you administer your test to any class or group be sure to take it yourself and note your own re action. Third, be fair. They are not full o f surprises, and they should allow
PRACTICAL TESTING PROGRAMING by NORMAN WRIGHT
L a s t m o n t h a brief introduction to the use o f testing was sub mitted for consideration in the local church program. Because of the lack of research that has been conducted in test construction and preparation for Bible series and curriculums it may be necessary for the local church or even the individual teacher, to create a tool usable for one’s own purposes. If so, certain guidelines should be followed. Expert teachers and professors have been known to make errors in the preparation of tests. A poorly-constructed test limits a student before he has the oppor tunity to express what he knows. Some of the most common errors and problems in writing a test are: First, inadequate time prepara tion. A last-minute test or one in which there is inadequate prepar ation is usually a poor tool and will not accomplish the objectives for which you are using it. Tests must be planned well in advance on a step-by-step basis. Second, tests are too short. A test which contains too few items does not allow a student to reflect the scope of his understanding. Third, the subjective judgment o f the teacher can interfere. Many teachers consider their role as a final authority in the interpreta tion o f test items. This is espe cially true o f the essay exam.
Fourth, tests which over-em- phasize detail. Teachers have a tendency to test a pupil’s ability to remember important dates, names, places, or events without understanding the relative impor tance to the concepts or context in which it was presented. This is especially true in the area of Bi ble knowledge. Names, places and chronologies are important but we are more concerned with the understanding and everyday ap plication of the teachings of Scrip ture. For example, we may con struct a test asking a student to write the first beatitude. This is simple recall o f a portion of Scrip ture and the correct answer may assure us that the student knows the words of the beatitude, but does he know the meaning? How ever, the question might be phrased in a different fashion. For instance, does, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matt. 5 :3) mean: (a) the poor are more happy than the rich; (b) Jesus’ followers should be humble in spirit; (c) a true Christian never will be rich; (d) Christians should never fight back. A choice such as this will pinpoint understanding and you may find a lengthy discussion developing as you consider the choice for the answers. There is occasion for the use o f straight, factual answers but a combination of factual and interpretation is much more comprehensive.
THE KING'S BUSINESS
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