Hi, I am in my student teaching semesters this year, and I am preparing to take over the classroom full-time in the spring. My cooperating teacher has a policy in place where if the students do poorly on a test, they can come in during their free-time and take a different test to try and earn points back. I have been trying to decide if I want to keep this policy in place during the spring. We had so many students during the last week of the quarter coming in to try and bump up their grades, but they forgot so much it ended up not helping many of them. I was thinking about keeping the re-take tests, but only allowing them to take them before the next chapter test. Any thoughts on what I should do? Thanks!

Elle Miller
Elle Miller
613 Activity Points

Hello Elle-

My first suggestion would be - have you discussed this with your cooperating teacher? Is he/she open to modifying their policy? Is there a building-wide policy? If you are able ti make changes, I would suggest doing as you are thinking and give them a deadline. They could also be required to turn in a plan where they share what questions they still have about the content covered - which you would go over with them before giving a re-test.

Cris DeWolf
Cris DeWolf
11905 Activity Points

For multiple choice questions, you could have them explain why one of the wrong answers is wrong or provide more information about the topic. If they get the problem wrong, they still get partial points if their extra work is correct. I usually do 1/2 points as partial credit. 

Do the students get to see their feedback before coming back to retake the test? Without knowing exactly what to study, they may not get the most benefit from the option to come back and take a 2nd test. Did they get to keep the better of the two grades? 

Emily Faulconer
Emily Faulconer
3040 Activity Points

Hi Cris! The school is very open, so the teachers are allowed to make their own policies for their classrooms. My cooperating teacher has told me that I can change the policy if I want, but I don’t want to start off on the wrong foot by taking the option away. I like your idea of having them write down what they are still unsure about, so I will talk with my cooperating teacher about that! Thank you! 

Elle Miller
Elle Miller
613 Activity Points

Hi Emily,

They do see what they did incorrectly on the test, and right now it is set up where they can only get one letter grade higher. I might just change that to the better of the two grades because if a student does really poorly the first time but studies a lot to learn and does great on the retest, they probably deserve to just keep the high score. I like your idea with the multiple choice questions, so I may do that so they understand what they did wrong.

Thanks!

Elle

Elle Miller
Elle Miller
613 Activity Points

Elle,

I really like this idea of retesting to earn a better score. We as teachers need to recognize that sometimes students have a bad day, we all do. Also in a subject like science, it is very easy to confuse or mess up one thing that will create the domino effect on your test. I have seen this implemented in classrooms where if students do not receive an 80% or higher, they actually have to retake the test, it's not optional. At first the students did not like the idea of being forced to retake a test. What was found though, was that science scores were rising, and students were having a much better understanding. The first thing that this teacher would do is look at each of the exams of students who are or has to retake. They would look for any trends in questions, and from the trends they would put together a new test of the things students really struggled with. By doing this it saves everyone time, because you do not have to grade questions that students already have shown understanding for, and students do not have to answer these same questions.

Good luck with the rest of your students teaching, I hope this helps!

Maddie

Maddie Johnson
Maddie Johnson
2520 Activity Points

I have a research paper currently under review - so I can't share the text yet - but we investigated the use of immediate feedback on quizzes and tests with the option to retake the assessment. The feedback was actionable but never provided the actual answer, only pointing to resources, explaining more detail, or explaining why a particular option was incorrect. The students were given a second chance on lecture quizzes and up to 3 chances on lab quizzes (because they were required to pass the lab quiz in order to complete the lab). We found that most students who did not earn an A did indeed try again and that most students who tried again did better. We did interpret some behaviors as "gaming the system" where students would use a "throw-away" attempt to peek at the test, but even then students did well on their good faith attempt. Assessment question pools were robust so it was highly unlikely they got the same question on a future attempt. All in all, we feel that the data shows multiple attempts with feedback (actually feedforward because of the multiple attempts) was a benefit to students. 

Emily Faulconer
Emily Faulconer
3040 Activity Points

Maddie,

I really like the idea to make everyone who doesn't get above an 80% to retest. There are quite a few students who could benefit from retesting, but they don't take initiative and come in on their own time, so that fixes that issue. My cooperating teacher has been teaching for 10 years, so his retake tests are pretty consistent with what the majority of students get confused on. Thanks for the idea!

Elle

Elle Miller
Elle Miller
613 Activity Points

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