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Advantages and disadvantages of a testing system in education - Research Proposal Example

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Pedagogy depends on the capability of a teacher to test student's knowledge of the material.Testing serves a number of functions,which are the measurement of progress a student is making,and the provision of an incentive for a student to learn the material …
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Advantages and disadvantages of a testing system in education
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Download file to see previous pages Pedagogy depends on the capability of a teacher to test student's knowledge of the material.Testing serves a number of functions,which are the measurement of progress a student is making,and the provision of an incentive for a student to learn the material Without testing, teachers would rely on faith that their students have learning as one of their goals; however, this assumption, especially in the era of compulsory education, is simply out of touch with reality. Having established that testing is a necessary component of teaching, the question then becomes what kinds of testing are most effective in achieving the established ends of teaching, and how does one design a test that achieves these ends. To answer this question, one must consider the context (and the material) being taught and, instead of relying on generalizations, decide based on the costs of efficiency versus effectiveness in measuring genuine knowledge of the material. Although some tend to focus more on efficiency (standardized testing) and others on effectiveness (non-standardized testing), it seems the most appropriate, wide-reaching solution to the problem lies somewhere in the middle. A standardized test is a measurement instrument that is distributed and scored in a standard manner; that is, it is constructed with a particular set of conditions, questions, and scoring procedures that do not differ between individuals (Popham). Popular methods used on a standardized test include multiple-choice questions, which can be quickly and objectively scored on a large scale, making them cost-efficient and time-efficient to use. In contrast, a non-standardized test is a measurement instrument that gives different test takers a different exam, or relies on subjective or partially subjective criteria in the scoring of answers given on a completed test. Common methods used in non-standardized testing are essay questions, mathematical calculations, and open-ended responses. One advantage of standardized testing is that the results of such tests are empirically useful in terms of a large scale. For instance, public policy decisions can be made by looking at decreasing state-administered tests in public schools if deficiencies in a particular subject are patent. Also, because scores are objectively scored and documented, it is possible to demonstrate validity and reliability with a controlled experiment. If two children from the same classroom score in the same range, it could be said the test is a valid instrument for measuring knowledge. When a test is statistically reliable, it can be shown to be replicable on a larger scale (Kuncel and Hezlett). Aggregation is a term that refers to the collection of scores on the same test from many different test takers; this provides a mean, or benchmark, against which an individual test taker can be evaluated comparatively. This can provide useful information above and beyond subjective assessments from individuals in that elimination based on standardized scores can narrow a search for individuals based on objective criteria and thus make a search procedure more efficient in a useful sort of way. In addition, it is often said this use of objective standards for comparing individuals is fairer than other methods, which may take into account other factors that use subjective methods. Critics of standardized testing believe it is restrictive in that it necessarily confines and segments knowledge into rigid categories, focusing more on broad swathes of reading and math skills, as opposed to initiative, creativity, imagination, conceptual thinking, curiosity, effort, irony, judgment, commitment, nuance, good will, ethical reflection, or a host of other valuable dispositions and attributes”, which some believe are virtues for accomplished students and successful adults that are simply ignored under the standardized testi ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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