Saturday, June 16, 2012

Speaking Test Admin

This past semester, I've done something new for my speaking tests that I've never done before.  Usually, I would hold speaking tests for the entire class during their "class-time" on the midterm and final exam weeks.  It ends up being quite stressful for the bigger classes, because trying to get 25 students through in 1.5 hours is not easy.  However, this semester I got the students to sign-up for their time and come to my office.  I chose 5 days, for a total of about 20 possible hours. 

Things I liked:

1. It was nice to have more individual time with the students and not feel stressed about rushing them through.  I had 10 minute slots and let 2 students sign-up for that space.  Every 50 minutes, I "scheduled" myself a 10 minute break to relax and go to the bathroom or whatever.  I would occasionally squeeze some students into that slot if necessary.

2. I teach 3 different kinds of classes, so it was nice to have different tests interspersed throughout my day.

3. I liked having the students come to me in my office, instead of me dealing with them in the classroom together, when they're all feeding off each others stress because of exams.

Things I didn't like:

1. I felt very stressed the last day, because as student inevitably do, they choose the last possible time and day.  And then there are always lots of students who just didn't sign-up but thought they could breeze in the last possible moment and it would all work out.   

2. Some students didn't get the sign-up procedure.  I tried to make it beyond simple and explained it about 7 times, but the lowest level students just didn't get it and showed up during their "regular class time." 

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