Reducing Retesting

David Carroll

Overview

Has retesting interfered with:

  • your ability to effectively evaluate and
  • your students’ ability to fairly demonstrate what they have learned?


One method to minimize the impact of retesting requirements is mastery scaling. This new approach uses ZipGrade and re-assessment data to scale unit assessments.

What is the Purpose of Retesting?

Reasons for retesting fall into two categories.
  1. Decrease the failure rate.
  2. Allow students to demonstrate mastery.

Meet Both Purposes and Minimize Consequences

  1. Allow students that failed the test the opportunity to pass the test.
  2. Allow all students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery.
  3. Minimize the number of retests.
  4. Prevent students from leapfrogging grades.
  5. Students earn their grade rather than get a grade.

New Approach - Crisscross

Students are given the opportunity to further develop their problem-solving skills and conceptual understanding by taking their test a second time; this is not a retest. The day after taking the test students are placed in prearranged groups and complete the Crisscross Activity.


Crisscross Activity

  1. Students are ability grouped (all about the same grade on the test).
    - High performing groups can be as small as 2 students
    - Low performing groups should be 4 students
    - Occasional high performing outlier can be a group of one.
  2. Return the test and original scan document to the students. Students will NOT get their grade or answer key. If “green” scantrons are being used, the scan document should have no score markings on it.
  3. Groups will discuss each test question before coming to a consensus on the answer.
  4. Each group will fill out a new scan document. (one per group).
  5. If time permits, after filling out the scan document, groups get one free scan/grading of their answers.
  6. HINTS are given to focus students on correcting the questions they got wrong on the group scan document. Types of hints include:
    - Grade Hint – Share with the group the number of questions they got wrong on the group scan document.
    - Section Hints – Share with the group the number of questions they got wrong by section. For example, your group missed 3 questions between numbers 1 and 5 and 2 questions between numbers 6-10 on the group test or your group missed 5 questions between numbers 1 and 10 on the group test.
    - Direct Hints – Share with the group the questions they got wrong. For example, your group missed numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, 15, and 17 on the group test.
  7. After hint corrections have been made, the group scan document is rescored. The second scan is the final group grade.
  8. The raw scores from the original (individual) test and the group test are combined together using the Mastery Scaling spreadsheet on www.GravityKills.net.
  9. The combined score is their final score on the test.

Where's the spreadsheet?

Features

Adjust 69 - Scale grades of 69 to either a 70 or 68.


Averages and Grade Breakdowns

  • Assessment averages for Unit Test, Crisscross, Weighted and Final scores.
  • Percentage breakdown of As, Bs, Cs and failures.
  • Class averages by period.


Bottom Scores Out - Set the lowest given grade.


Final Score - Is the weighted average plus improvement points. The number of improvement points depends on how many more questions the student got correct after completing the Crisscross Activity and the Lowest Full Recovery Score. Click on the picture for the formula.


Group - Assign students to a group. Use numbers 1, 2, 3, 4. . . . .


Hide Grades - Hide students' grades while displaying group assignments or grade distributions.


Highlights - The ability to highlight scores below a selected value for Unit Test, Crisscross, Weighted and Final scores as well as the Percent Improvement.


Histograms - Display a breakdown of the grades for Unit Test, Crisscross, Weighted and Final scores.


Improvement Alert - If the improvement grade is less than the weighted grade the cell turns red.


Improvement Multiplier - Increases the number of improvement points by the set value.


Improvement Points - See formula below.

Big picture

Lowest Full Recovery Score - Is the score a student would earn if they made a zero on the Unit Test and a 100 on the Crisscross Activity with the following conditions:

  • Assessments Weights = 50/50
  • Improvement Multiplier = 1
  • Number of Dropped Questions = 0

Missed the Group Test - An "X" can be place beside the name of a student that missed the Crisscross Activity.


Number of Questions on Crisscross Activity - Allows you to choose how many of the original test questions you ask students to answer.


Number of Dropped Questions - Questions can be dropped from the assessment and points awarded for each dropped question can be set.


Percent Improvement - Calculates how much the Crisscross Activity score improved from the Unit Test score.


Example

  • Unit Test Score = 70
  • Crisscross Activity Score = 85
  • Score improved by 15 points
  • Maximum possible improved score = 100 - individual score = 100 - 70 = 30 points
  • Percent Improvement = (15/30) X 100 = 50%


Weighted Average - Is the weighted average of the Unit Test score and Crisscross Activity score according to the assessment weight settings. Default settings are 50/50.

Examples

Example A

  • Number of Questions on Unit Test = 50
  • Unit Test Score = 0 out of 50 (0%)
  • Crisscross Activity Score = 50 out of 50 (100%)
  • Lowest Recovery Score = 70

  • Weighted Average = (0 + 100)/2 = 50

  • Improvement Points = (50 – 0)(70 – 50) / 50 = 20 points

  • Final Score = 50 + 20 = 70


Example B

  • Number of Questions on Unit Test = 50
  • Unit Test Score = 30 out of 50 (60%)
  • Crisscross Activity Score = 45 out of 50 (90%)
  • Lowest Recovery Score = 70

  • Weighted Average = (60 + 90)/2 = 75

  • Improvement Points = (45 – 30)(70 – 50) / 50 = 6 points

  • Final Score = 75 + 6 = 81


Example C

  • Number of Questions on Unit Test = 50
  • Unit Test Score = 30 out of 50 (60%)
  • Crisscross Activity Score = 45 out of 50 (90%)
  • Lowest Recovery Score = 70

  • Weighted Average = (60 + 90)/2 = 75

  • Improvement Points = (45 – 30)(70 – 50) / 50 = 6 points

  • Improvement Multiplier = 1.50

  • Final Score = 75 + (1.50 X 6) = 84