ERIC Number: ED291757
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Testing for Critical Thinking: Improving Test Development and Evaluation Skills of Classroom Teachers.
Kirby, Peggy C.; Oescher, Jeffrey
A study was made to determine characteristics of teacher-composed classroom tests, with emphasis placed on describing the levels of knowledge addressed by the test items. In this preliminary investigation, 19 mathematics and 16 science teachers working in 4 high schools in a mixed suburban/rural school district were asked to: (1) complete a brief instrument describing the format, objectives, analysis, and uses of their tests as well as their level of confidence in their testing skills; and (2) supply the researchers with their most recently administered unit or quarter examination. A rating form was devised to analyze a sample of teacher-composed tests. Interrater agreement for a sample of the tests ranged from 90 to 100 percent. Teachers' perceptions of the levels of knowledge addressed by their test items were compared to the researchers' actual ratings by means of t-tests or mean differences with the alpha levels adjusted using Bonferroni's formula. Multivariate analyses of variance were used to examine the main effects of school and subject taught on the percentage of items addressing each level of knowledge. Results provide insights into teachers' perceived purposes for testing, construction of test items, cognitive levels tested, overall test presentation, and confidence in testing skills. Major weaknesses discovered include a tendency to test at low cognitive levels, flaws in construction of individual test items, and inadequate instructions. Study data are presented in seven tables. (TJH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (Mobile, AL, November 11-13, 1987).