A now-retired teacher once said “I have the kids do test corrections, because I want the last time they see a concept to be right.” The challenge is – how can we have students revisit concepts in a meaningful way? What doesn’t work is to have a student take home the test, and make corrections as homework. The learning task is to re-write a multiple choice question as a full, correct statement with the ‘right answer’.
I sometimes do a two part test, and it works well. Part 1, the student writes down what they know. Part 2, the student evaluates another student’s response for accuracy, compared with a ‘guide sheet’ supplied by the teacher. Here’s how it works:
- Student 123 puts their student ID on their paper, not their name (so they are anonymous)
- The student responds to short response questions.
- When finished with the test, they hand the test to the teacher.
- The teacher waits until 3-4 students are finished with the test.
- Then, the teacher begins handing back tests. Student 123 gets a test completed by Student 456, and a ‘guide sheet’ (not an ‘answer key’. The guide sheet provides support information that relates to the question.)
- Student 123 puts their student ID at the bottom of the paper they are evaluating, to stay anonymous.
- The 123 is asked to make corrections to 456’s paper, based on their knowledge, and their interpretation of the guide sheet.
- Scoring is as follows:
- If the student makes an accurate correction, that’s 3 bonus points added to their Part 1 score.
- If the students marks “No correction needed”, but the response wasn’t accurate, that’s -1 point.
- If the students makes a correction, but it was right, that’s 0 points,
- If the student marks “No correction needed”, and they are right, that’s 1 point.
The students then turned in their evaluation of the other student’s test. I, as the teacher,
Once the students got the system, I think it was good in several ways:
- Students stayed anonymous
- Students who ‘answered’ question 1 correctly, but didn’t understand it, needed to consider what another student wrote. This is a higher level of thinking.
- Students immediately had the chance to reevaluate their own response, when comparing with the ‘guide sheet’. There was no need to wait until I corrected their paper.
- The guide sheet provided support to students who needed it, without just giving them the answer.
A drawback to this system is that the teacher must do more thinking. Also, and keeping track of the two scores on two tests is challenging. If a student finishes very fast, there’s a time lag when they eventually get a test to correct. Lastly, I’ve given student’s their own test back from time to time to correct- but kids have always brought that up to me.
Do you have a test correction strategy? Leave a comment and let me know!