Q&A #7323

Length of quizzes

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From: Gail (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Nov 18, 2001 at 17:35:40
Subject: Re: Length of quizzes

Dear Cindy,

     I teach elementary school, but I will throw my 2 cents worth in, if you 
don't mind.  I guess first of all, if these were my quizzes that were being 
questioned, I would take a look at them to see if they really needed to take 
a whole class period.  How much are they worth, grade-wise?  Is their value 
commensurate with the amount of instructional time they displace?  That might 
be what your principal was concerned about.  

Then, I would probably look at the items themselves.  Is there any redundancy 
in what you are measuring? Could some of the items be removed without damaging 
the integrity of the quiz?  Is what you are testing with the quiz what you 
taught?  I am not trying to give you a hard time... just posing some questions 
to think about as you design the next quiz.

What information do the quiz grades give you?  Are they of any use to you as 
you plan further instruction?  Do they mirror your students "final" grades?  
What I mean is, are they a good way for students to tell how they are doing -
- can they be a self-assessment tool for them to use, as well as an evaluation 
and assessment tool for you?

If you thoughtfully look at your quizzes, and reflect on their value in your 
classroom, and determine that they are as they should be, go back to your 
administrator and explain your reasoning.  On the other hand, if you decide 
that some changes should be made, still go back and share your ideas with 
your administrator. Reflective teaching is a key component to being a great 

So, I have rambled on for some time, and haven't really addressed your 
question, which was, "how long should a quiz be".  I hope I have given you 
some ideas to think about though.  :-)

  -Gail, for the T2T service

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