Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Allowing a resit for a test

This is often a difficult question. If we are only assessing outcomes, the most accurate assessment of a student's performance is the last assessment for a task - and in this case a resit for an assessment is ok.

If we are assessing the ability to learn then a resit is usually not appropriate as it will not give a fair indication of how long it has taken for a student to learn a topic and a modifier to the raw score is required to retain equity with other students.

I try to take a flexible approach when it comes to resits based on prior knowledge of a student and the subject being studied. If a student is frequently absent on test days then it takes a fair bit of effort to convince me that it is necessary and I also start to enquire as to whether the student has valid test/exam anxiety. If this is the case - off to the counsellor they are sent.

In a normal case, where student results are far below normal I will grant a resit with a two week delay between now and the new test. This means that the student does not miss the start of the next topic doing the test and the student has to actively seek me out in two weeks to do the resit. If they are serious about maintaining their grade - they nag me until I dig out a new test. Most of the time, they just forget and life goes on. We then re-evaluate performance at the end of term exam.

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