In the past week, my students have completed two days of MEAP testing, a quiz, and a test. That is a whole lot of time devoted to testing. I have wondered whether this is really the best way to assess learning and understanding from our students. I know that these things have become “a necessity” in education so that we as teachers can prove that we are teaching. Yet, is this really in the best interest of the students? I don’t think it is but at the same time I can’t come up with a sound way to gather this information without testing students.
Project based learning seems like it is one alternative. If students are working in a group though to complete a project, how can we assess each individual’s learning? I personally have never been a huge fan of group projects because I typically felt that I was taking on a majority of the work. To look at the other side of the coin though, society functions in a similar way. In a job you are not tested on what you know, rather you are expected to perform and work together with coworkers to accomplish tasks that benefit the company.
I am just thinking aloud here, but I really wish we could find a way to reduce the amount if time we spend formally testing our students but still be able to gather the same kind of individualized data.