However, the big take away for me from this chapter was being more creative on assesments. In AP Statistics, students need to be comfortable with multiple choice questions. In fact, multiple choice questions make up 50% of the AP exam for Statistics. Multiple choice questions are graded as right or wrong. A student that has a solid understanding of a concept could potentially narrow down the answer to one of two possibilities. This student could still get the question wrong, even though he or she knows much more than the student who got it wrong because they had no clue and simply guessed an answer.
Here is an alternative that I will try this year - "I Know I Am Close" Multiple-Choice Response Format. Here is how the directions are worded (as found on pg. 143 Figure 5.6): "Write the letter that corresponds to the correct answer in the first space provided below. If you are unsure of your answer, write the letter that represents your second choice in the second blank." Then, under the spaces for the answers, there are some blank lines for writing an explantion for choosing them both.
I typically have 8 multiple choice questions on my AP Stat tests and would limit studnets to 4 "I Know I Am Close" questions. So, why might this better than scratch one, choose one? Myron Dueck listed 7 reasons and here are the ones that resonated with me.
|1) Teachers gain insight into their students' answer-selection process.||Although I could probably guess which|
questions my students will get wrong,
I still can't tell what they were thinking
by scratching a wrong answer and choosing another answer. This helps me to understand
where I may have fallen short in my teaching
and helps me to re-teach or work with
|2) Multiple-choice tests become more than just guessing games.||This encourages students to think more deeply|
about what they know and understand. It helps
them to think about their thinking - metacognition
is a great tool for all students to develop.
|3) The format can guide revision.||If I want students to revise their work before a|
re-test (and I sometimes do give re-tests), this
format helps them to review what they were
thinking and can help them to see where their
thinking may have been in error.
|4) Test anxiety and stress are reduced.||I was probably a strange child, but I enjoyed|
test days. I saw tests as a challenge for me to
master and I loved being challenged. Plus, I
often finished early and then I could quietly
read whatever my latest book was for enjoyment.
Until I became a teacher, I had no idea that
students were stressed about tests. Increasing
student confidence and reducing stress will
ultimately help them to not only translate
into higher grades, but increased understanding.
And what teacher doesn't want his or her students
to understand the material on the test better?
I'll be sure to post in the fall after I do this alternative method to multiple-choice on my first AP Statistics test. Stay tuned.