Comments on: Why You Should Throw Out Your Tests and Quizzes http://www.brilliant-insane.com/2014/07/why-you-should-throw-out-your-tests-and-quizzes.html Education on the Edge Sun, 10 Mar 2019 13:54:46 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.10 By: Doug http://www.brilliant-insane.com/2014/07/why-you-should-throw-out-your-tests-and-quizzes.html#comment-2279 Fri, 18 Jul 2014 01:30:15 +0000 http://www.brilliant-insane.com/?p=3777#comment-2279 Students with better grades are more likely to go to college, more likely to go to grad school, and more likely to get high paying jobs. Employers and admissions departments certainly take grades seriously as measures of something they value. I’m curious how you measure achievement and am looking forward to your book.

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By: Mark Barnes http://www.brilliant-insane.com/2014/07/why-you-should-throw-out-your-tests-and-quizzes.html#comment-2278 Thu, 17 Jul 2014 19:43:10 +0000 http://www.brilliant-insane.com/?p=3777#comment-2278 Doug, I believe all students need feedback about learning, just as they should give us feedback. Apart from correlating skills/knowledge to test results, based on the subjectivity of the person making the test, there’s no empirical data supporting a connection to grades and achievement. I share plenty of research and practical experience about this from educators around the world in my forthcoming book, Assessment 3.0: How to Throw Out Your Grade Book and Revolutionize Learning. Look for it in early 2015. Thanks again for your insights.
Mark Barnes recently posted…Eliminate grades with digital feedbackMy Profile

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By: Doug http://www.brilliant-insane.com/2014/07/why-you-should-throw-out-your-tests-and-quizzes.html#comment-2277 Thu, 17 Jul 2014 19:17:34 +0000 http://www.brilliant-insane.com/?p=3777#comment-2277 * When I say “lecture” I don’t mean “stand up and talk at my students.” I talk for brief spurts and engage with my students as much as possible. I have them answer questions, discuss material, and apply it to new contexts.

* I don’t threaten my students with quizzes–I give them quizzes. In fact, they can retake the quizzes as many times as they want.

* My students are definitely interested in the material–it’s just they need feedback on their learning.

* I agree that students should want to learn the material, but I disagree that if they put in added effort because of incentives that they aren’t learning more.

* Grades are an imperfect measure of skills/knowledge acquired, but they are certainly positively correlated with skills/knowledge.

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By: Mark Barnes http://www.brilliant-insane.com/2014/07/why-you-should-throw-out-your-tests-and-quizzes.html#comment-2276 Thu, 17 Jul 2014 19:08:14 +0000 http://www.brilliant-insane.com/?p=3777#comment-2276 Doug, while I appreciate you reading and contributing to the conversation, I am troubled by much of what you write. First, 99 percent of all lectures are extremely boring. Why lecture, when there are so many better ways to engage learners? Furthermore, if you must threaten students with a quiz, it’s clear they have no interest in the material. You are correct about grades being an incentive, which is a monumental problem. Shouldn’t we want learning to be the incentive. If students complete activities, just to earn a grade, they aren’t learning; they are just manipulating a broken system. Oh, and grades tell no one what a person knows. Thanks again for contributing here.
Mark Barnes recently posted…5 Things to Avoid When Providing Feedback for LearningMy Profile

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By: Doug http://www.brilliant-insane.com/2014/07/why-you-should-throw-out-your-tests-and-quizzes.html#comment-2275 Thu, 17 Jul 2014 19:01:06 +0000 http://www.brilliant-insane.com/?p=3777#comment-2275 I get it that you’re being provocative with the title, but I find myself giving *more* quizzes and tests than I used to. I think they are good way for students to learn how much they are retaining or actually understanding. In my online class, my students used to think they could watch the lectures while they cooked dinner. When they have to answer a set of “quiz” questions after every lecture, they focus more.

Grades are another story–On the plus side, they can be an incentive to work hard and a signal to the outside world about how much the person knows this material. On the minus side, it’s hard to assess the less tangible skills that we’re teaching along with the nuts and bolts.

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By: Mark Barnes http://www.brilliant-insane.com/2014/07/why-you-should-throw-out-your-tests-and-quizzes.html#comment-2264 Wed, 16 Jul 2014 13:45:37 +0000 http://www.brilliant-insane.com/?p=3777#comment-2264 Jordan, you are right about tests being formative assessment tool. The right kind of quiz can serve the same purpose. However, there is no good use for traditional grades, and they are always subjective. There is no way a number can represent learning. I’m writing a book on this subject. I hope you’ll look for it in early 2015.
Mark Barnes recently posted…10 things that separate great teachers from good teachersMy Profile

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By: Jordan http://www.brilliant-insane.com/2014/07/why-you-should-throw-out-your-tests-and-quizzes.html#comment-2263 Wed, 16 Jul 2014 13:36:50 +0000 http://www.brilliant-insane.com/?p=3777#comment-2263 Tests and quizzes should be diagnostic tools – “formative assessments” in the sense that they help inform the future instructional process. This article is accurate in that pop quizzes and summation evaluations are tools that are misused or misunderstood by teachers, but it fails to consider the flexibility of what a “quiz” could contain and it seems to fear giving grades to students, as though a grade (which is a numerical representation of their proficiency to date) cannot be part of the bigger feedback picture. Not all tests are “unreliable and subjective,” but it takes a skilled teacher to effectively combine objectives with appropriate assessments. So I half agree with this article, but it feels too loose and extreme for me to effectively adopt it.

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