February 19, 2012

Five reasons I don't give quizzes

Photo credit: QuotesBuddy.com
In my days as a traditional teacher, I loved the quiz. I informed students and parents that the quiz was a valuable tool, because it held students accountable. The "pop" quiz was an even greater weapon, as it kept students in a constant state of anxiety, always wondering when they'd be caught unprepared and their grade would be doomed.

When I converted my class to a Results Only Learning Environment, I eliminated all testing, including quizzes. Here are five reasons that quizzing doesn't work.
  1. Most quizzes are made up of multiple choice items, which provide inaccurate results, because you never really know when a student guesses.
  2. Many students simply don't test well, so they may know the material but get the quiz questions wrong.
  3. There are many activities that engage students and are conducive to formative assessment, which is far less threatening than a quiz and provides much better feedback.
  4. Quizzes create anxiety and tend to hurt students' grades.
  5. Quizzes are designed to make students accountable for learning. Accountability makes students hate learning.
Do you know any reasons I left out?