A testing method that encourages effective note-taking.
How can we teach students valuable note-taking skills while simultaneously encouraging students to study for tests? If you’re anything like me, you place a high value on careful note-taking, which is an essential skill that students will bring with them to postsecondary education and the workforce. However, a lot of students avoid taking notes.
I’ve started utilizing another test-taking methodology that I’ve found empowers my secondary school government understudies to take extensive notes, as well as review for tests.
My students take their tests twice using Schoology, a learning management system. The initial time, they complete the evaluation utilizing just their own intellectual ability. However, I allow them to use their notes on the second attempt and then average the scores. Studying and careful note-taking are encouraged through this strategy.
The significance of taking notes.
My students would, in a perfect world, write down what they read and heard in class. These notes would be well-organized and comprehensive, and they would successfully identify the topic’s main points. The students would then study with these notes for the exam.
However, we do not live in a perfect world.
According to research, handwritten notes enhance comprehension and retention. I have previously discussed the significance of making thoughtful handwritten notes as well as the reasons I encourage and sometimes require note-taking.
I ask my students to use a standard notebook in my class because of this. Students are more likely to keep their notes organized and well-organized if they are informed that they can use their notebooks during the test. They are aware that their performance on the assessment will be influenced by their notes.
Additionally, students become more open to learning strategies for taking notes. Students frequently listen intently when I instruct them on how to keep a notebook that is more useful. They want their notebook to serve them well when the time comes for the test.
Getting the test ready.
When I use Schoology to administer my tests, I can change the settings to give students two chances. I additionally change the programmed evaluating with the goal that the normal of the two endeavors is taken as the grade.
Matching, multiple-choice, and true/false questions make up most of the test. Once completed, Schoology assigns a grade to this immediately. My review is required for the essay and short answer questions.
Studying remains essential.
The term “open-notebook test” may bring to mind images of students frantically copying the entire textbook without ever taking the time to actually read it. This is avoided by the test-averaging method, which requires students to take the test without a notebook first. They only use the information they’ve learned through studying, homework, and classwork.
Students are aware that they must first perform well on a test based solely on their knowledge in order to receive a higher grade. Their initial score is determined by this.
Students are motivated to perform well on the first attempt when they are aware that the two test scores will be averaged rather than determined by the highest score. As a result, they prepare accordingly.
I let the students use their handwritten notebooks after they finish taking the test without taking notes. They are also able to internalize the information when they take the exact same test twice.
Things to keep in mind.
Making notes is a learned skill. Too frequently, educators instruct students to “take notes.” Children need to learn how to write well. Consider ways of assisting your understudies with taking better notes by doing the accompanying:
Include examples of effective note-taking in a lecture.
Notes to grade.
Comment on the notes.
Give students open-book quizzes on a regular basis to get a feel for how to make good notes.
Use it frequently or sparingly. Each class is unique. This method should be evaluated by teachers classroom by classroom and assessment by assessment.
I use the test-averaging method for a few important tests that I think would benefit the entire class.
Each educator must determine when this approach would be most beneficial.
My students are aware from the beginning of the semester that they may be able to use notes on tests; however, I do not always specify which specific tests they will be able to use notes on.
Because I have taught my subject for a long time, I am aware that this approach is especially effective for a few assessments that require students to learn some rather difficult historical details.
Technology is very important. Give your learning management system the bulk of the work.
Without my learning management system, I could not use the test-averaging method. It takes care of everything for me. However, I must grade all open-ended, essay, and short-answer questions.
If you do not have a learning management system, you might want to do this on a brief quiz only from time to time. If you don’t, you’ll end up taking on too much work—essentially, you’ll double your grade.
Consider time. Students may find it taxing and time-consuming to take a test twice in a row. When designing the test, keep this in mind.
Determine how much time you have for class.
Create a test that gives students enough time to thoroughly consider the questions without being rushed.
Keep in mind that students will take the test twice.
I grade still. A machine cannot answer all questions.
My tests quite often incorporate emotional short-answer questions. I tell the students that they do not need to answer the question again on their second attempt if they are satisfied with their initial response.
However, I will evaluate each response if they wish to rewrite the question using their notes.
Due to the time limitations of stepping through the examination two times, I shun extended exposition questions and consolidate questions that require a section reaction.
In my class, the test-averaging method has been extremely effective. It’s basically a new test. It is beneficial for students, particularly those who struggle, to take some tests again using their notes.