Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Cheating the Test

How rapidly can a topic of discussion take over the consciousness of the Blogosphere!

Tony Vincent at Learning in Hand may have started it by gathering YouTube 'How-to-Cheat' videos. But it didn't take long for edu-bloggers with huge audiences to follow suit.

Steve Dembo at Teach 42 joined the discussion:

"On a typical test, in a typical classroom, does anybody reading this honestly think they can prevent a highly determined student from cheating?"


And when Will Richardson at Weblogg-ed joined the discussion, he did so with a 'twitteresque' title: "When Are We Going to Stop Giving Kids Tests That They Can Cheat On?" and without contributing content, left the commentary to his network. Tongue-in-cheek I'm wondering: "Is this way of engaging teacher-learners to write your blog 'cheating'?" Like Pooh Bear to Hunny, educators are chiming in... 30+ comments in only 6 hours!

For the record, this topic is near and dear to my heart as someone working to assist teachers in leveraging e-learning solutions. With online courses now being shared province-wide, the customization of tests and assignments is necessary in order to validly assess the learning of online students.

"What types of tests are relevant?

If a test is going to be similar to a real world experience, then the most relevant test should have the following characteristics:

1] The test should allow students access to any information system available (the Internet; Wikipedia; news sources; personal networks…).

2] The test should demand that students ‘apply information’ to a context or situation, rather than simply restate ‘learned’ facts.

3] The test should offer students a range of ways to respond (the written word; audio recording; product dev’t; physical demonstration…).


A ‘test’ of this type is more likely a ‘performance task’; and although this type of test wouldn’t be easy to administer, it would provide the truest test of one’s learning. Thank goodness we don’t provide driver’s licenses, pilot’s licenses, or dental licenses on the basis of the written test!"



Photo Credit: dcJohn

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

you might want to read this:

http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/in_defense_of_c.html

peter

Brian said...

I am not a big fan of students regurgitating material back to me. What does it prove, that they listened or that committed it to memory? Testing with real world applications, pbl or problems that focus not on the answer but how you came to the answer seem to be more relevent, especially in an age when most answer can be found with a few key strokes.