Day 72: The Point of Correcting Tests

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

I’ve been grading tests today.

This kid gets it -- starts at the point of first mistake and shows a correct solution side-by-side with the original work.

This kid gets it — starts at the point of first mistake and shows a correct solution side-by-side with the original work. The student solved the first step of the problem (for do) correctly but dropped a negative sign. The kid went on to part two and corrected her mistake, using the right value for do.

This kid doesn't get the purpose of the corrections -- the reason is too vague and doesn't show the source of error.

This kid doesn’t get the purpose of the corrections — the reason is too vague and doesn’t show the source of error. It tells me he/she didn’t understand the problem at all.

When you take a test in my class, you read questions on Moodle, solve them on paper, and answer on the computer. You submit a complete test and get immediate feedback about right and wrong answers and if the score is below 90%, students see this feedback:

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 11.46.48 AM

I go through the work papers to grant partial credit. No correction means no partial credit. The two examples above are both ends of the spectrum — most work falls somewhere in the middle. Ideally, kids spot the place they made their mistake and classify the error. I’m super-forgiving of algebra errors like the first example above, so if you divided instead of multiplying, circle it and say so — you’ll earn credit for the physics you showed.

I’d guess that 75% of the time, my students can show a correct solution if they’re given the right answer. Practically speaking, this means they get a problem wrong on the test, Moodle says “wrong, the right answer is #”, and most of my kids can work to that correct answer. This is fascinating to me and something I want to write about more.

I love to hear when other teachers get in on this — Geoff Schmit being the most recent one I’ve read.

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2 thoughts on “Day 72: The Point of Correcting Tests

  1. Pingback: A Reflection on 180+ Days of Blogging | Megan Hayes-Golding

  2. Pingback: Physics180: A photo-a-day blog | Day 29: Waves & Sound Tests

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