Maths Scholar Dorottya Németh explores assessment
In my internship school they mark assessments in a way, which was new to me, and during conversations with other scholars I realised that it might be new for others as well, so I thought it would be worth sharing it.
Let’s avoid the pass/fail mentality where all useful though processes are lost
The essence of the whole idea, is that students are interested in their test results until they figure out their grade/percentage, and then they do not care to learn from their mistakes. To avoid this situation, the maths department in my internship school uses the following scenario:
After the students took their tests the teacher marks them. But while they mark the tests, they do not write anything on the test paper (there is no red/green/purple pen, or any other writing apart from the student’s work which was already there). They put the results into a spreadsheet, where for each question the related mathematical topic is shown, also the maximum possible mark for the question, and the actual mark they achieved.
Red, amber green
This application (where they collect the test results) makes it possible to print a sheet with the number of the questions, and the related topics, but not including the achieved marks; and another paper where the results are shown by using colour coding. Green for full mark, amber for half of the marks, and red for no marks.
Let the ‘experts’ tackle the question
The teachers usually spend at least one lesson on looking at the tests with the students. In that lesson the teachers give back the tests to the students, and also give them the first sheet (which does not include the results). They ask the pupils to work in pairs, and compare their answers for each questions, and try to convince each other if they have a different answer. In other cases, sometimes they allocate one person to each question who is the “expert on that question” and those who did not get the same answer can ask them for explanation.
Those questions that seemed to cause trouble for most of the people can be discussed together with the whole class, led by the teacher. While they go through the whole test (in any of these ways) the students need to fill out the sheet they got, and show how they feel they did on each question.
They get back their actual results just in the following lesson, and by that time the things they learned could settle a bit, and has not been washed away by the big excitement.
Dorottya Németh Maths Scholar
If you have something you’d like to contribute regarding an aspect of Maths teaching in your school we’d love to hear from you. On the other hand if you would like to apply for a Maths Scholars Scholarship award then please check out how to apply here. Be warned that if you are thinking about it demand has been unprecedented this year so it would be better to apply now rather than wait.