Monday, August 10, 2015

IF-AT Testing: Up to Snuff, Up to Scratch

I’ve never been a man to go for a lottery ticket. Perhaps I was dissuaded by an old economics professor of mine who asserted that the odds of you winning were only marginally increased by actually owning a ticket: that is to say, the odds of you purchasing the winning ticket are only fractionally better than the odds of the winning ticket spontaneously blowing into your hand as you munch on your afternoon sandwich. Perhaps a bit of hyperbole, but it sticks with you.

While IF-AT tests have all the appearances of a lottery ticket, their chances of generating a winner are substantially better. In fact, the creators of the new testing system would suggest the chances are even better than traditional multiple-choice tests. IF-AT (Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique) tests provide students with immediate feedback as they answer questions, encouraging strategic test-taking and facilitating retention of material.  The test is fundamentally a giant Scantron with its answers buried under a layer of scratch-off coating. After reading the question, students will scratch off the box they believe is correct. If they reveal a star, they can move on; if the space is blank, they continue to try until they get the right answer.

Example of Team IF-AT Test
The benefits of this approach, according to the company, are as follows:
  1. Immediate feedback is superior to delayed feedback: students who answer correctly right away affirm their learning, while students who need multiple attempts will understand their error as they are taking the test, ultimately resulting in a better understanding of the material.
  2. Teachers won’t have to waste class time going over tests.
  3. Partial credit can be easily assigned, (i.e. half credit for a correct second choice) relieving students from the nasty pressure of deciding between two tough choices.
  4. Scratching makes for a more interesting, interactive test.

If you would like to give this method a try, stop in at CETL to request your own set!
If you would like to learn more about IF-AT testing, take a look at their official website here.
You scratch their backs, and they’ll scratch your test.

Tip provided by: Jon Pumper

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