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Course assessment: Setting and Grading Tests and Examinations By Dr C. Bangira Chinhoyi University of Technology Organized by the Academy of Teaching and.

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Presentation on theme: "Course assessment: Setting and Grading Tests and Examinations By Dr C. Bangira Chinhoyi University of Technology Organized by the Academy of Teaching and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Course assessment: Setting and Grading Tests and Examinations By Dr C. Bangira Chinhoyi University of Technology Organized by the Academy of Teaching and Learning 12 September, 2012

2 Introduction Academy of Teaching motto : Teaching excellence and improving student learning Teaching-learning process is usually assessed by, tests, coursework assignments, practicals, examinations, etc Lecturer Student

3 Student’s performance and evaluation Assessment of student’s performance and progress should be regulated by: Objectivity There should be agreement from various stakeholders and observers on student evaluation Continuity Avoid unnecessary changes to the whole system of evaluation

4 Reliability Marks should be based on many observations of each student performance to increase reliability On average coursework should be based on at least five (5) student performance observations Validity Tests should reflect the course content. Validity can be increased by weighting of various components of the final mark

5 Components of the final mark Final Examination Mark (100%) Written end- semester examination (50-80%) Continuous assessment mark (20-50%)

6 Tests, assignments and examinations The objectives of the tests, assignments should be clear: – Are individual students and the class achieving course objectives? – Design the tests and assignments to reveal specific weaknesses and individual achievements

7 Some Guidelines for Setting Tests and Assignments Make a draft of the tests and assignments based on the table of objectives and course outline – Include all topics – Emphasize all important points and topics – Make important points and topics compulsory

8 Develop a large pool of questions – Develop questions on each course topic – Select test questions from this pool – Include some of the questions in the final or semester-end examinations

9 Category of questions Theory – e.g., ionic size: substitution of chemical elements in structures – Reduction/Oxidation: industrial extraction of Fe from Fe oxides Mastery/Factual – e.g., wavelength of the visible range… nm – green pigment in plant leaves…….chlorophyll – vowels {a, e, i, o, u}

10 Applications/Practical – Integrate various topics in the course content or subjects to solve a problem e.g., Starting a business venture » Cost-benefit analysis Economics Mathematics Computing and Communication Skills Accounting MOB

11 Nature of test questions Multiple choice – Choose the correct answer (A, B, C, D, E) Essay Discuss the impact of fast-track land resettlement programme on the economy in Zimbabwe. Structured – The sky appears blue because………..

12 Critically review tests and assignments questions Check with original course outline and content Is the amount of emphasis on various topics captured? Discuss tests/assignments with fellow lecturers of the same subject

13 Time Due dates for assignments depend on the subject or course – Ample time (e.g., 2 weeks) should be given to students to complete the assignments Classroom tests – Should test student’s understanding of the subject rather than speed of completing the test – If >10 to 15% of students fail to finish the test in allotted time, speed is probably a factor for some students Allow specific time for each question – e.g., 30 minutes for each question – Tests which are too long for the time allowed should be avoided

14 Level of difficulty Level of difficulty of questions should be appropriate to that particular group, e.g., – (Post) Graduate vs undergraduate students Arrange questions in ascending order of difficulty (to boost morale of the candidates) – Easiest questions should be at the beginning of section – Most difficult questions should be placed in the last sections

15 Similarity of test questions Test questions of a similar type should be placed together, e.g., Question 1. (a) (i) Definition of terms (ii) Calculations (b) Applications

16 Figures, Tables and Equations All Figures and Tables referred to in the test questions should have a title. – Table Q1. Distribution of major universities in Zimbabwe Figure Q5. Concentration of Cu in mine spoil selectively extracted by different chemical reagents

17 Equations All equations should be numbered a + bx 2 + c = 0 ………………..(1) r 2 = x 2 + y 2 ……………………..(2)

18 What to avoid Monotonous sentence, e.g., – Explain the difference between… – Explain what is meant by…. – Explain how……, Ambiguous sentences – Which is the coldest month in a year?

19 What to avoid….. Use of Always Never Entirely Absolutely Double negatives, e.g., not uncommon,

20 Instructions to candidates Instructions to candidates should be concise Instructions should include, among other things, – Course name and course code – Time allowed – How and where to mark items – Whether calculations should be shown on answer sheets – What additional information/material will be provided – Marks or points awarded to each correct answer – Penalties, deductions for errors in spelling, grammar, etc

21 Grading Grading is used to show the level of performance of a student in achievement tests Prepare answer keys and scoring procedures before grading can be done Each correct answer can be awarded 0.5, 1, 2, etc, points or marks

22 Grading criteria Universities in Zimbabwe have adopted Criterion-referenced grading system -Student performance is compared to pre- determined standards e.g., GradeMark (%) 1>

23 Student performance Evaluate student performance by preparing score charts Which questions were: – performed very well – badly performed – average Revise and emphasize problem areas

24 Summary Assessment of teaching and learning is usually conducted through assignments, tests and examinations Tests and assignments should reflect objectives and content of the course Grading is used to show the level of performance of a student in achievement tests Design the tests and assignments to reveal specific weaknesses and individual achievements

25 THANK YOU


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