Planning for Classroom Testing
Paul Johnson was caught by surprise when he looked at his office calendar and realized that a test for the course he was teaching was only a week away, even though he was the person who had scheduled it! Thankful that he was not teaching this course for the first time, he searched his files for the test he had used last year. When he found it, his brief review showed that some of the content was outdated and that the test did not include items on the new content he had added this year. Because of a department policy that requires teachers to allow clerical staff one week to type a test, Paul realized that he would have to finish the necessary revisions of the test that night and submit it to be typed the next morning. Three days later when the department secretary was finished typing the test, Paul was out of town at a conference. When he returned to the office, there was no time for proofreading it because he had to administer the test the next day. He begged for an exemption from the two-day notice for photocopying, but when no one was available to do the job, Paul came in early on the morning of the test day and copied and stapled the test booklets himself.
With 5 minutes to spare, Paul rushed into the classroom and distributed the still-warm test booklets. He was still congratulating himself for meeting his deadline when the first student raised a hand with a question: “On item 1, is there a typo?” Then another student said, “I don’t think that the correct answer for item 2 is there.” A third student complained, “I’m missing page 2,” and a fourth student stated, “There are 2 ds for item 5.” Paul knew that it was going to be a long morning. But the worst was yet to come. As they were turning in their tests, students complained, “This test didn’t cover the material that I thought it would cover,” and “We spent a lot of class time analyzing case studies,