Essay on Hidden Harms of the Free Response Tests

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The teachers of different departments at National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy have their own styles and special tools for teaching. For instance, computer science department teachers in NaUKMA adopt the most advanced technologies into the learning process: they use projectors to show the visuals, make their lectures available for students on the Internet, and e-mail the course leader to cancel the classes. Still, there is one of the most important spheres of the learning process – testing the students’ knowledge – they use one of the most conservative and primitive tools. To put it simply, informatics department teachers utilize free response tests in most cases during the term and even at the exam. Moreover, the free response tests …show more content…
Besides, there is the temptation to check mechanic memorizing, using phrases from the lecture or a textbook, or attentiveness, using negative statements. Another form of tests, multiple-choice tests, requires choosing one out of 4-5 possible answers, which means that the probability of guessing equals 20-25%. The evaluation of these tests is rather easy just like that of the true/false tests. Still, the most difficult part of composing effective multiple-choice test is inventing the wrong answers yet looking plausible (“Forced-choice tests”). The last form of tests, free response tests, requires writing the right answer without any alternatives provided. Guessing the answer is practically impossible in this kind of tests, but clean forgetting of the right word or forgetting to mention some important details is not unlikely. The evaluation of such test takes a lot of time and is hardly objective. Neither simply scoring the presence of important terms, nor checking the absence of false statements is acceptable. Composing such a test is relatively effortless and it doesn’t noticeably influence the effectiveness of the test.
First, computer science department teachers find free response test fast and easy to compose. Of course, it is unnecessary to invent special questions if the time is scarce: the chapter names from the manual may be taken instead. Moreover, the

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