Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Do you test and tell?

I was talking with my colleague the other day about doing speaking tests and whether to give students immediate feedback or not.  He's at one end of the extreme and doesn't tell his students a single grade (including their speaking tests) they receive the whole semester until they see it on the University Intranet system.  I'm at the other end and my students know what grade they're going to get before the semester ends.  And, they always know their test grade immediately after it's finished. 

Since my uni bases renewals almost solely on student evaluations, I like to factor that into what I do in class.  One of the things we're evaluated on is "Fair and impartial grading."  When I tell them (and actually write down) every single mistake they made on the speaking test and tell them immediately after it's finished, it's quite obvious why they got the score they did.  However, if I was a student and did a test and got no feedback, I would think that it's annoying.  I would be even more pissed off if I got a low final grade but had no idea what my scores were or the breakdown of the grade even was.  And so I have a feeling that my colleague has extremely low scores in this category.  How could he not?

What do you do?  Tell or not tell?  I thought everyone did the same as me until I heard this yesterday.


Pinkling said...

You're right according to research, Jackie. I went to this workshop about grading and the professor said that the usefulness of the grade and feedback has a half life. It's most effective that day and then somewhat effective in two days. In a week, a student can't really remember his/her performance and doesn't care. We were talking about middle schoolers, so uni students probably have a longer attention span.

Jackie Bolen said...

I wouldn't necessarily say that uni students in Korea have longer attentions spans :)