Tuesday, May 30, 2017

3198. The Right Way to Assess Our Students

We are in front of the big exams now or we may be. And we have the problem that some of our students may try to cheat, or in any case we want to avoid that cheating, is that right? Okay, in order to avoid and prevent from cheating at exams we could permit and allow our students to bring books and notes to that big final exam...
The activities of the exam to carry out should be ones of elaboration and maturity. They may have to write an essay or composition and in that way it is easy to assess our students’ progress this year.
Well, that is an example of activity. In other words, we could assess the level of English the students have accomplished. Also their maturity. And their writing style. I say all this because cheating today with electronic devices is something rather simple.
I had a college subject exam – literature – where we were allowed to bring something to the classroom. It is also true that that professor or teacher assigned nice marks to all his students.
Thus the activities would be, as I said, of elaboration rather than asking about just vocabulary and grammar knowledge. The students have to show the communicative competence they have achieved, rather than just concepts, notions and grammar patterns. In that way the exams are practical rather than merely theoretical. Think of it. We assess communication.
Anyway the exam activities should be ones our students may expect, because we’ve practiced them in the classroom. And something else: we should assign a general final grade according to all their work displayed along the school year. / Photo from: YouTube. Exams are like a competition, a nice one.

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