Very good WaPo piece about the inadequacy of multiple choice “bubble tests” to assess the knowledge of the information generation (I would lump law students here).
Kelly couldn’t get rid of the test he created, but we should be able to. Institutions of education should be preparing our kids for their future — not for our past. In the Internet age, we are saddled with an educational system that was designed for the industrial age, modeled on mass production and designed for efficiency, not for high standards.
We know that bubble tests address only a quarter of the kinds of knowledge students master in schools. For low-income kids, who have limited resources for college costs and thus little reason to think that their test scores matter to their future, the exams can seem irrelevant. For them, low scores can denote not just a possible lack of knowledge but also a possible lack of motivation to concentrate on the exam. Affluent kids, if they pay enough and take enough test-prep courses, can get higher scores.
We are not teaching and testing our students for responsible participation in the interactive digital age. Even at IBM, that industrial age behemoth, the developer of the time clock, 40 percent of employees now work at least partly at home in a system called “endeavor-based work.” School bell? Timed tests? Right answer chosen from four preselected ones? What does that old form of education have to do with our children’s future — or, for that matter, their present?
I hated multiple choice tests. I seriously did. I got a B+ in Con Law 1 (multiple choice) and a A- in Con Law 2 (part multiple choice, part essay). Both professors were shocked by my poor performance. I hate multiple choice. I will never use them for my exam.
H/T Steve R.