I have been experimenting with group tests this year and the experience has been overwhelmingly positive. So, I am giving you my top nine reasons for making the switch from individual to group tests!
- Test day becomes a day of learning. No more quiet desperation on test day. Now, test day is the most active, engaged day on the schedule. Students will work hard if their peers are depending on them. Many groups actually have fun on test day!
- A lesson in social capital. I work with older students and they are quick to identify and challenge non-contributors. I find that groups are mostly kind to students who struggle with the test material, and brutally honest with those who choose not to work.
- Tests can be more challenging. Group tests always need one or two hard questions that stimulate discussion.
- Reduced need for anti-cheating strategies (as in 6 versions of the same test).
- Reduced Anxiety. Do you have those students who immediately have their hand in the air as soon as you hand them a test? With a group test, students get assurance from their classmates.
- More authentic. Most workplaces encourage employees to cooperate and seek help with problems. Shouldn’t schools give it a try?
- Late comers and test-day skippers will get on board. Missing test day means going it alone. Most students only make that mistake once.
- Less to grade. Who doesn’t want fewer papers to grade?
- Nerds rule. That awkward, nerdy kid is now the most popular kid in the class!