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ERIC Number: ED541337
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 164
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
Using Collaborative Testing to Reduce Test Anxiety in Elementary and Middle School Students
Balkam, Brittany E.; Nellessen, Jenny A.; Ronney, Heather M.
Online Submission, Master of Arts Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University
Throughout this action research project report, the teacher-researchers explored the problem of test anxiety among students. The purpose of this project was to alleviate test anxiety among students with various interventions in grades five through seven in the subject areas of social studies, science, and language arts. There were 66 student participants in this study which occurred between August 20, 2012 and December 21, 2012. Students exhibited behaviors to illustrate test anxiety such as sweating, tapping, and poor achievement. The three tools used to document further evidence of the problem of include a student survey, parent survey, and teacher survey. The student survey affirmed that students felt negatively about taking tests in school and were uncomfortable taking tests in certain subject areas. The parents of the above-mentioned students also noted they had witnessed their children experiencing such feelings when faced with a test in school. Additionally, the teachers surveyed expressed noticing behaviors of students that may be related to test anxiety such as tapping, refusal to work, and nervousness. The teacher-researchers implemented various interventions in order to address the problem area. These interventions included teaching test-taking strategies, collaborative testing, and differentiated tests. Students were taught how to best take a test by using strategies that included, but were not limited to highlighting important words in the question, eliminating wrong answers, and planning extended responses. Pretests were given at the start of each unit to show the teacher-researchers how much or little students knew about the topic. Through collaborative testing, students first took a test individually. The following day, students were put into groups based on their pre-determined knowledge of the subject or ability to illustrate a skill. In groups, students were able to revisit their test and work together in order to change or affirm their answers. These tests were also used to group students during collaborative testing as well as design differentiated tests. The teacher-researchers created three levels of tests per unit in order to best assess the students at their levels, but still demanded students to demonstrate what they had learned. By the end of the study, the teacher-researchers found that the students experienced a positive change in the way they viewed taking tests in school. More students reported feeling good or prepared for tests after being a part of the interventions. This information was especially pleasing because the students also stated that the way they prepared for tests did not change; thus confirming that the interventions implemented did help reduce the students' test anxiety. The following are appended: (1) Student Survey; (2) Parent Survey; (3) Teacher Survey; (4) Hands-On Experiments; (5) Revolutionary War Pre-Test; (6) Sequencing Activities; (7) Group Roles; (8) Story Elements Pre-Test; (9) Sequencing Post Tests; (10) Revolutionary War Test; (11) Story Elements Graphic Organizers; and (12) Story Elements Post Test. (Contains 12 tables and 24 figures.)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5; Grade 6; Grade 7; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A