Some aspects of objective testing in mathematics within the field of further education
educational resourceposted on 11.12.2012, 12:16 authored by Neville K. Upton
The dissertation reviews the role of objective testing in mathematics at institutes of further education in the United Kingdom. The possibilities of usefully expanding this role are also discussed. Within typical further education classes, students exhibit a wider variation in age, maturity, and mathematical ability than is seen in school classes; because of this, testing in colleges is more important, and serves a greater range of purposes, than in schools. The variation in mathematical ability is particularly pronounced in courses where mathematics is a service subject, and any means of rapidly locating areas of weakness early in the course are most valuable. In many colleges, the bulk of the mathematics teaching is of this type, and it may be partly for this reason that further education teachers of mathematics show at least as much interest in objective testing as do those of any other subject. The discussion of the potential role of objective testing with further education students in mathematics is, based, largely on the published findings of prominent researchers in educational assessment methods. The literature, however, covers the wide field of education generally, and evidence based on the writer's own experience at Birmingham Polytechnic is therefore included; a brief account is also given of the practices and attitudes at certain other colleges. Suggestions are offered regarding the use of objective tests at the beginning of, and throughout, each year of a course and proposals are also made for introducing such methods into the formal end-of- session examinations, where at present they appear to be little used. The complete replacement of conventional methods of examining is not suggested, but rather a combination of the two so as to exploit the various strengths of each method.
- Mathematical Sciences