Ever marked a set of tests and been somewhat disappointed by the results.
Students like grades. There’s a sense of fulfillment when you’ve done well. A twinge of regret when you don’t and a fleeting moment of “I should have…”. But in the end it’s the grade that students look at first, your guidance and advice is always second, if they read it at all.
Personally I’m from the no grades kind of mindset, I just want to give feedback that enables learners to act on it and go for ‘gold’ as I used to say in my last school. Where feedback guides and supports all students to the top grades not just those targeted the A*.
As a result of the new kind of students I’m teaching I decided that it would be appropriate to give them the opportunity to improve their test scores now and then; To give them the opportunity to act on feedback now instead of months down the line; To allow them the opportunity to revise and embed what they’ve learnt; for some to go away and take things more seriously.
But I wanted the opportunity to be taken responsibly. I want my students to see it as a privilege and opportunity to improve and not that the first time is just a ‘trail-run’. I want them to take ownership over their progress and to recongnise that grit and hardwork are vital for success and not just rely on their natural talent.
In order to do this I’ve created a ‘Request to Retest’ form. In order for students to take the retest request seriously, they’ll need to have their parents/guardians support and will need to think very carefully about their reason and will need to be honest e.g. I didn’t take the test seriously.
After my original idea, I decided I would also put a reflection on the request sheet, for students to reflect upon their improvements and what they did to improve their grade.
If you’d like a copy of it, you download it here.
Already however I’m thinking of rephrasing it to ‘request to reassess’ as I actually don’t like tests. Luckily I don’t do them often 🙂
Hope you can find it useful.