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TEACHER-[tIADE TESTS

-While larqe-scale standardizedtesrs may appear to have great influence at specifictimes.. .. Without question, teachers ar!the drivars of the assessment systemsthat determine the effectivaness of schools. --astiggins, 1994, p. 438

How Arsess lo learning Authenlic

WHAT ARE TEACHER.MADE TESTS?


Teacher-made arewritten oralassessments arenot les1s or thal produced standardized otherwords. testa commercialiy or In a teacher designs specilically hisor herstudents"Testrng" for refers to anykindof school activity results sometypeof markor that in comment being io grade entered a checklist, book,or anecdotal record. term "test,"however, The refers a morestructured or to oral writtenevaluation student of achievement. Examinations tests are thatareschool scheduled, to cover tend moreof the curriculum, and countmorethanothertormsol evaluation of Education {8oard for theCityof Etobicoke, 1987). Teachermade canconsist a tests of variety .formats, of including matching items, fill-in-the,blank items, questions, essaystrue-talse or pansof the teaching learning Testscanbe imponant process aod if theyareintegrated daily into classroom teaching areconstructed and process notjusttheculminating to be panof the learnjng event. Theyallowstudents seetheirown progress allowteachers to and to "Butoneof makeadjustments theirinstruction a daily to on basis. the most seriousproblems evaluation the fact that a primary of is meansof assessment-thetest itself-is oftenseverely Ilawedor m i s u s e d("H i l l s , 9 9 1p . 5 4 1 ) . 1 , Constructing goodteacher-made is verytime consuming a tesl and difficult;moreover. is hardto understand something essenit why so process be!nvirtually tialtothe learning has ignored teacher in preservice inservice or training. Veteran teachers havereliedon commercially madetests in workhooks on theirown often inador equateteacher-made testsfor mostof their evaluations. Teachers haveoften neglected addressing aspectof instruction this because they were not trained write eftectivetestsandtew administrators to couldofler guidance. Oneof the problems with teacher-made testiG theiremphasis on lower-level thinking. studyconducted the Cl6veland A by Public (Fleming Chambers, Schools and 1983, citedin Stiggins, as 1985) paper-and-pencil The results examined over300 teacher-made, tests. of the studyJound that teachers appeared needtraining how to to in do the following:
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Teacher-made tests can be important parts of the teaching and learning processif they are integrated into daily classroom teaching.

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Chapler - Teacher-Made 6 Teds

planand wflte longeftests; paperand pencrl test items;and wrile Unambiguous of skillsbeyondrecall facls measure p 1 { S t i g g i n s ,9 8 5 , . 7 2 ) . writtencriteoa performances for or ntrolfactorslikeestablishing

qualitythatteachers also oftenoverlooked research {ound

procedures advance. in Wiggins notesthal "course scoring lanning testsof intellectual ability; with standardized as tests, to be authentic finals usually intended be quickly are to read and teacheriesigned (Wiggins, p. 1989, 123). scored" manyteacher-made emphasize tesls verbal-linguistic Inaddition, and are no how intelligence, poorreaders at a disadvantage matter contentthey know.Teacher-made do not carrythe same tests much as tests in oublicrelations betweenthe imoortance standardized and the community. Eventhoughmanyo{ them havethe school tormatthat allowsfor easycomparisons, sameobjective-style they not seenas reliable vaiid.Teacher-made are and testsareoften because from classto class; subjectto question they differgreatly (1994) notesthat although theirqualityis opento debate.Stiggins large standardized, scaleassessments command the mediaattenall tion, rt's the day-toiay classroom assessments havethe grea'tlhat est impact student on learning. says,"Nearly the assessment He all eventsthat takeplacein a sludent'slife happen the behestot the at teacher. Theyalignmost closely with day-toiay instruction are and most intluential terms of theircontribution student.teacher. in to and (p.438). parent decision making" Since of colleges education justbeginning require are to teachers to lake courses assessment. in manvteachers haveenteredthe classroomwith very littletraining how to createmeaningful in tests.They eitherremember typeso{ tests theytook as studentsor they the modelthe testson onesprovided theirfellowteachers in bv or workbooks. Unfortunately, most of the teststeachers took as stu --: dentswere multiplethoice,recall tests that covered content.Teachproblem-solving ers havehadvery little practice constructing situationson teststo measure application skillsand higher-order of the thinking.
weaknesses. only because not they cifictests alsohaveglarrng designed oftentoo low leveland contentheaw. I hey are rarely

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Teacher-made tests are often subjectto question becausethey differ greatly from class to class;their quality is open to debate.

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Learning How Asrers lo Aulhenlic

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t|/HY lilENEED DO BETTER TEACHER-MADE TESTS?

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The key to teacher-made tests is to make them a part of assessmentnot separate from it.

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parents the media published scores. Even value though and test nrostteachers not relyon slandardized to tellthemwhat do tesls theirstudents knowanddon'tknow.Standardized occur tests so infrequently oneaggregate that is in score not veryhelplul detern] n goals. Ingfutureinstructional Teacher-made however, tes1s, allow teachers makedecisions keepinstruction to that moving. Teachers immediately meetthe needs theirstudents canmakechanges to of "Theylteachersl mostheavily assessments provided part rely on as o{ instructional materials assessments design construct and they and very themselves-and littleon standardized or testscores" tests (Stiggins, p. 1985, 69). Thekeyto teacher-made is to makethema partof assesstests ment--floi separate from it. Testsshouldbe instructional ongo and ing. Rather thanbeing'after-the-fact" {ind out what students to did nof /earn, they shouldbe more "befor+the-fact" targetessentral to ('1999) learnings standards. Popham warnsthatteacher-made and tests shouldnot be instructional Theyshouldbe afterthoughts. prepared p/,orto instruction orderfor the teacher targetapproin to "Assessment priate instructional activities students. for instruments prepared to instruction prior a teacher's operationalize instructional youunderstand intentions.. . Thebetter going, . whereyou're the you moreefficiently canget there"(p.12). in Teachers alsoneedto makeadjustments theirtestsfor the variproblems styles, multiple intelligences, learning and of ous learning lt the studentsin theirclasses. wouldbe impossible address to everystudent'sneedson everytest, but elforts shouldbe madeto provide teststhat motivatestudents learn, construct to and choices, for makeallowances individual ditferences.

MultiPle lntelligences

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((eviewed Chapter theoryo{ multipleintelligences in Gardner's Three) callsfor multiple assessments the multipleintelligences. for An effectiveteacher-made should test address morethanone or two

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6 Chapier- Teacherlrlade Tests

TYPES LEARNERS OF

m nd sometrmesstrays dufing verbalactivities organizedin approach to tasks hkesto read !suallya good speller memoflzesby seerng graphicsand pictures frnds verbalinstructions difflcult

talksto self easily distracted

in motion ffiost ol the time readingis not a priority

hasdifficulty with wrillen directions likesto be readto memorizes steps by in a sequence enjoys listeninq activlties

poorspeIer likes to solve problems by physically walking through them enjoys handlingobjects enjoys doing activities

{Adaptedfrom Frender.1990, p. 25)

intelligences. Teachers include who strategies toolssuchas and graphic organizers, choice, opportunities oral and for student answers meetthe needs theirdiverse of students.

[earning Modalilies
Teachers needto construct tests that can be adjusted students' for learning modalities to makemodifications at-riskstudents. and for (1990) Frender learning modalities waysof using defines as sensory in{ormation learn. Threeof the five sensesare primarily to usedin -learning, storing, recalling and informationBecause learn students from andcommunicate best with someonewho sharestheirdominantmodality. is important teachers know the characteristics it for to of theirstudentsso that they canat leastaltertheir instructional stylesandteststo matchthe learning stylesof all the students.

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ilow Assess lo Lerrning Aulhenlic

Frender hasidentifled many characteristics the threestylesof of pagelrststhe learning. Typesof Learners The Charton the previous characteristics couldmost likelyinfluence that studenttest takrnq skrils.

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Authentic tests can celebrat! diversity by allowing students a wide variety o{ ways to demonstrate what they know and what they can do.

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Modifications forStudents SpecialNeeds with


Wilh the movement towardinclusive classrooms, teachers needto be !bleto meetthe needs students of with learning disabilities, physical behavior exceptionalities, exceptionalities, intellectual and exceptionalilies. ln additioo, today's as is society a "sa{ad bowl"of groups, manyethnjc teacher-made mustallowopportunities tests for studeots whosefirst language not English succeed. is to Many schools have now detracked, thereby merging levels studenls all of (gifted,average, remedial) one inclusive into class.lt would be impossible useoneob,ective to measure groMh and to test the development all students. Authentic of tests cancelebrate diversity by allowing students wide varietyof waysto demonstrate a what thev knowandwhat thev cando. Teacher-made canbe constructed meet the needsof all tests to students providing by manyopportunities measure to whatstudents just measuring cando instead of theirabilityto read,write, andtake tests. Thefollowing modifications be madeto helpensure on can success jor allstudents, tests especially thosewith special needs who are mostat riskof failing tests; '1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. B. instructions Read orally. Rephrase instructionsneeded. if oral Askstudents repeat directions makesurethey to to understand. Monitor carefully makesureall students to understand directions the test. lor Provide alternative evaluations-aral testing,use of tapes, test givenin anotherroom,dictation. Provide clockso studentscanmonitortfiemselves. a Giveexamples eachtype of question(oraland ot writtenl. Leave enoughspaceJoranswers.

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Chapter- TeecherMade 6 Teslr

9. Use visualdemonstTalrons coloredpaperis sometimes dis 10. Use whlte paperbecause tracting. 1I Do not crowd or .lLl-pr llte IFS 1 2 . G l v ec h o i c e s . to 13. Go from concrele abstract Don't deductlor spelIngor grammar tests. on 14. tests 15. Use some take-horne manipulative experiences wheneverpossb e. 16. Provide '17. Allow students use notesand to textbooks duringsome
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Allowstudents writedownkeymathor science to formuias (sothatstudents not penalized poormemory). are {or visuals graphic like organizers tests. 1 9 . Include on pointvalues eachgroup questions. Jor 20. Givespecific of 21_ Listcriteria essav lor ouestions. feedback all1ests. 2 2 . Provide immediate on 2 3 . Allow studentsto correctmistakes and/or retake to tests to improve scores understand theydidn'tunderstand and what on the first test. (Adapted from material distributed the Boardof Education Jor by pp.204-214) 1981, the Cityof Etobicoke,
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HOtil tlt,E CAN DESrcN TEACHER-MADE BETTER TESTS?


Most teachers not havetime to rewriteall their teststo conform will to the guidelines suggested page102.However, is impoftant on it to makesurenew testsare designed meetstudentneeds---!nd to truly "we reflect learning. asWiggins lf, suggests, should teach the to authentic test," studentsshouidalsobe broughtintothe test-making process. Theycanhelpconstruct meaningJul tests based essenon ('1989) recommends teachers tiallearnings. Brown that drawstudentsinto the development tests.He maintains nolhinghelpS-: ot that a personmastera subjectbetterthanhaving askanddebate to questions tundamental aboutwhat is most important aboutthat how subiect---!nd someonecouldtell iI he or she h!smastered it.

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learning Horlo AserrAuthentic

"Students all ageswho createsorneof theirown examinations of are forcedto reflecton what theVhavestudiedand makejudgment: , p a b o u t i t "( B r o w n 1 9 8 9 , . 1 1 5 ) .

Tests for EDGuidelinesTeacher-Made


It is important to selecttest items that will measure whether students have achievedthe significant learning obiectives.. . .

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guidelines ot may help in the construction better The followrng teachermadetestsl

beginnjng unrt. the 1 . Create tesl betore the obiectives to or 2 . Makesurethe test is correlated course and learning standards benchmarks. of 3 . Giveclear directions eachsection thetest. for questions {rom simpleto complex. 4_ Arrange the 5 . Givepointvaluesfor eachsection(e.9.,true/false points {2 eachl) fill-in-the blank, multiple 6. Vary question types(true/false, the questions type. per Limil matching). to ten choice, essay, 7. Groupquestion typestogether. (Le8ve to spacebetweenqueslrons B. Typeor printclearly. facilitate and easyreading writing.) level used. is reading 9. Makesureappropriate '10. Include variety visual, andkinesthetic tasks. oral, a of 'l1. Makeallowances students with special needs. for (e.9., in they 12. Givestudents somechoice the queslions select questions). graphic of organizers essay or a choice intellect 13. Varylevelso{ questions usingthe three-story by ques processing, application gathering, and verbsto cover trons. '14. Provide grading a scaleso studentsknowwhat scoreconsttgrade(e.9..93-100= A; 85-92 = B: 75-44 = tutes a certain C; lv14 = D; Below70 = NotYetl). 10 15. Givesufficient time for all students finish.(Theteacher to shouldbe ableto work th(oughthe test in one-third onehalfthe timegiven students.l

Constructing Tests Effective


betterteacher-made testsis to Onewav teachers construct can questions on that shouldbe included a test. consider typesof the it to Obviously, is important selecttest itemsthat will measure learning obiectives, the whetherstudentshaveachieved significant that benchmarks, st!ndards havebeentargeted. or
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6 Tesls Chapler- TercherMade

FOR TIPS CONSTRUCTINO TEST QUESTIONS


True-Falsehems . Avoidabsolute and "alwaYs." wordsIike"all," "never," . MakesureitemsaIeclearlv or falserather thanamblguous true . Limittruefalsequeslions ten. to higher. Consider tfue falsequestions to encourage to asking students make orderthinking. Matchingltems . Limrtlist to between andten items. frve . Usehomogeneous (Don't names mix with dates.) lists. (Write . Giveclear letter, number, etc.) instructions. . Givemorechoices therearequestions. than Muhiple4hoicehems . Statemainideain the coreor stemol the question. (Avoidridiculous . Use reasonable choices.) incorrect choices. (nothing . Makeoptionsthe samelength very longor veryshort). (a . lnclude answers andb, allof the above). multiple correct Completion ltems . Structure a brief,speci{ic answerfor eachitem. for . Avoidpassages on from text (emphasis memorization). lifteddirectly . Useblanks equal length. of . AvoidmultiDle makea sentence confusing. too blanksthat sometimes Essayltems ("Discuss"is ambiguous . tellall you . Avoidall!ncompassing questions know abouta subiect). . Definecriteria evaluation. for . Givepoint value and . Use somehigher-order verbslike "predict"or "compare conthinking verbslike "list" and "name." trast" ratherthan all recall (Adapted 1987. {or JromBoardof Education the city of Etobicoke, pp. 112-187.)

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learning Ho*lo Asess Authenlic

graphrc presenta, Essays, organrzers. [)erlormances. artistic oral and meaningiul learning canallbe included lronsn]easure and on of however, teactrer-made Because time constraints, tesls. many teachers choose useobjective to stylequestions Objective style questions predetermined havehighly specific, answers require that a shortresponse questions include loliowing: Obleclive-style the 1. 2. 3. 4. multiple choice true-false matching shortresponse

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. . . obrective stylequestions
canplay a role in the assessment process.. . .

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questions playa rolein the assessEventhoughobjective-style can mentprocess, they,likestandardized tests,mustbe put in the proper perspective. "Evaluation should a learning experience boththe student for be and the teacher. However. ob,ective-style testingis frequently ineffective

OBJECTIVE OF TYPES EVATUATION


A welldeveloped objective test .
ADVANTAGES qu;ckly canevaluate skills and ef{jciently canprevent studeftblrom "writingaround" answer the grades canprevent students' f(om beinginfluenced by gramwritingskills.spelling, mar.and nearness (item canbe easily anallzed analysisJ prevents gradrng biased by teacher can be used for diagnosticor pre{esr purposes groups canbe givento lrge DISADVANTAGES requires mosllyrecallof{acts doesnotallowstudents to demo^stnte writng skrlls oftenrequires dasproportionate a amount reading ol {penalazes poorteaoers) canbe ambiguous confusing and (especially younger to students) pre' sssally a speci{ic, has determiRdaDswer canbe veritiFe-consuming to @nsruci guessing promotes is often usedyearafter year despite ditfering needsof students

fo. Gdaptedfro.n the Bo.rd o{ Education the Cityol Etoticoke,1987,pp. 157-158)


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Chapler - Teacher-Made 6 Tesls

experience eitherthe studentor the teacher for as a learning questtons often require obtective-style too only the recall of tlecause processes thinking or factsand do not allowthe studentto drsplay to for them" (Board Education the City of of the teacher observe 1987,p. 156). Etobicoke. program does not haveto include objective style A good evaluation questions if shouldbe well constructed tests;however, ir does,the by styletests shouldbe balanced other!ulhentic andthe objective asSesSmenls.

Objective Misconceplions Tesis Aboul


pointoutthatevaluating prodof OItencrilics autlrentic assessment " and and is ucts,perlormances, ponfolios too "subjective, the teachgrade assign erscould a because theyliked didn'tlikea studenl or or couldbasethe gradeuponoutsidevariables neatness, like attenThesesamecriticspointto obiective dance,or behavior. tests being faireror morevalidandreliable. Sincemostwell-written selectedresponse itemstramechallenges allowforjust onebest test that

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. . . obiective style tests shouldbe balanced by other authentic assessments.

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Test Torlure
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'Professoa.what is this rclic?" 'lt's a Nimitive bnurc devico used by toacheEin the 20th century. They czlled it a Scaatrcnn.]dchine.'

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A good teacher-made test includes verbsfrom all three stories ol ihe intellect.

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answeror a limitedset of acceptab answers, leadsto the "objecit e tive evaluatron responses beingrightor wrong. However, ot as (1994) Stigglns warnsthat when the teacher selects test rtems the judgment for inclusion the finaltest, he/sheis making subjective in a as to the meaningand importance the material be lested." . . o1 to judgnrent the all assessments, regardless theirformat,involve of on part o{ the assessor. reflectthe brases Therefore, assessments all of (p. that assessor" 103). Teachers shouldexamine both the advantages disadvantages and of obiective-stvle tests and then determine rolethey will playin the the process. evalualron

Techniques Three-Story Verbs Intellecl and Queslioning


Bellanca Fogarty and have created graphic a based Bloom on s {1991) (see Taxonomy Intellect page107) show called Three-Story the to what verbsteachers use when theyaskquesiions. can Firsl-story "count, "describe,and "match"askstudents gather " " verbslike to " " or recaliinformation. verbslike "reason, "compare. Second-story "analyze" students process and ask to information. third-story And "amagine," "speculate" students verbslike"evaluate," and ask to applyinformation. effectiveleacher-made includes An test verbs from all threestoriesof the intellect. Manyteachers this graphic use as a guide whentheyaskquestions class whentheycreate in and teacher-made thal encourage higher-order tests thinking. A self.check the teachers use to evaluate effectiveness can of teacher-made madetestsappears page on tests andcommercially 109.TheThree-Story Intellect Feview page110provides on a methodto analzye how manyquestions teststo determine address processing, eachof the threelevelsof learning-gathering, and questions applying. welfbalanced should A test include from all levelsto assess students'recallof factual information, their abilityto process that information and,most important, theirabilityto apply ('1994) that information doingsomething by with it. Stiggins observes that it is teachers the assessments c-Ata that havethe and thev most impacton studentlearning drivethe asslessment and systems in schools.

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THREE-STO INTELLECT
AFpiyA Principle $fihen Estimale Forecasl

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Thereareone story rntellects. two-Story intellects. threeand storyintellects with skylights. factcollecAll torswho haveno aim beyond theirfactsare one storymen.Two storymencompare, generalrze, reason, usingthe labors tact of collectors wellas as theirown.Three-story menrdealize, imagine, predict-their best illumination comes from above, through the skylight.
-Qliver Wendell Holmes

Name | \ Recire \L-T \ r-? \ seled \

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(Adaptedfrom Bellanca Fogany, 1991.Us!dwith Oermissbn.l snd

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How Assex to Learning Auihentic

MATCHINO QUESTIONS
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TRUE/FALSE QUESTIONS

ESSAY QUESTIONS
SCIENC!

Dneclions: Seled one oi th! lollowhg topi6 tor your essy question.Youressaywillb! evalualed the tolowng on a60.acy of intormaion o.gEnianonol inio.mal on us! ot supporl sbtemenb clarity and 6flecriwress

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Chapler - Teadrerlrlade 6 Tests

THE TEN BIO TEACHER-MAD TEST CI|ECKLIST


Tes t: Grade Level/Class: '1.

I wrote my test beforeI taughtthe subject matter. I havelistedmy standards benchmarks the test. and on | havelistedmy grading scaleon the test. | havevaried question the typesto include _ i haveprovided pointvalues eachsection. for I haveincluded tasksto address multiple the intellioences andlearning modalities my students. of | havegivenstudents somechoice questions. of | haveusedallthreelevels the Three-Story of Intellect verbsin my questions. | havemadeallowances students for with special needs.
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2. 3._ 4._ 5.6.

types.

7.8._ 9.10 . -

| havemadesurethatallstudents havetime t6 finishthe

Signature:

Date:

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lo lrlfientic learaing .Hon Assess

THREE-STORY VERBS INTELLECT REVIEt,'/


Analyze of yourown teacher-made Classify questrons marking one tests. the by them Iirst, second, thirdlevelaccordrng the ThreeStorylntellect(see or to p. 107).Iallvthe results. a. Numberof fi(St-story gathering questions. b. Number second-story of processing questions. c. Number third-story questions. of applying Analyze chapter a test from a textbookor any commercially prepared content test ln termsof the guidelines above. used TallV results. the
a . Numberof first-story gathering questions. b . Number second-story processing of qu!stions.

Number third-story of questions. applying Compare contrast analysis youroriginal and the of teacher-made to vour test analysis thecommerctalty prepared Comment yourlindings. ot test. on

Construct original an teacher-made to use with yoursludglts. Followthe test guidelines.discussedthis chapter in anduse "The BigTenTeachgr-Made Test Checklist-"

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Chafler - TeacherMade 6 Tests

TEACHER-MADE TESTS
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REFLECTION PAOE
List three thingsyouhavelearned aboutteacher-made tests. 1.

List fwo thingsyouwouldliketo try on yournextteachermadetest.


1.

2.

Listonecomment haveabout teacher-made vou tests.

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