Suppose a parent of one of your students called you today to complain about his/her child's poor performance on your classroom tests. The parent concludes by asking you, "Just how sure are you the fault is in my child and not in your tests?"
How would you respond to this parent? What would you think about? Justify your response.
This is a very interesting question. Two weeks ago, I would have been able to stand firm on the opinion that the fault was neither in my teaching nor my tests but in the child. After taking a look at the rules for creating effective tests, I realized that many of my small mistakes can affect the student learner. I haven’t always taken the time to outline the objectives that I will teach and match them up with the questions that I put on the test. My multiple choice answers were not always in columns. As I reflect upon this, I can recall students placing the wrong answer on the line or even circling the wrong answer. For many students, we just called it a “careless mistake” with my knowledge as the teacher that they knew the information. However, that mistake may have been the difference between a letter grade.
As far as a response to the parent, I will probably suggest that this be a conversation we have the student together. This will give me an opportunity to listen to the student’s feedback on their previous exams. It may be best to take an exam that the student did poorly on and go through the correct and incorrect answers while having the students to justify the incorrect answers. This would provide the student to explain any questions that they may not understand or acknowledge that they knew the answer but may have circled the incorrect answer. I would hope this will give me an idea of whether it’s the knowledge of the student or my exam.