Friday, January 29, 2016

FYI #14 How to Manage and give the best Retakes and Redo's

At a professional development I recently attended on inclusion practices the main theme of the entire workshop as it pertained to students was:

This is important.

You can do it.

And I won't give up on you.

What particularly resonated with me was in the "And I won't give up on you" session this quote on giving students retakes and redo's:

To insist that the original grade is the only one that matters sends children the message that education is about scores and deadlines. “These are the things you’re supposed to know, and if you don’t  know them on this date, then the time you put into trying to know  them was wasted, because because we're moving on.”

On the  other hand other hand, allowing students to retake tests sends the  message that what matters is learning. Students should be  encouraged to keep at something until they understand it, whatever  that happens on day one, or day one hundred.  - Jason Lukehart

Love the quote. Makes a lot of sense. Student learning should not have a deadline on it. With that said the large majority of academic staff here are great about students taking retakes- redo's- make-ups etc..

Myself included I know that we have all benefited from retakes and make-ups in our careers. Just think about the number of times many of us have taken MTELs for example.

The following information is not only about the importance of giving students additional attempts at showing their understanding but also about better ways of going about it.

Here are some great articles about making the redo/retake process more valuable for you and your students. If you have other ideas I would love to share them.

  • The article above gives 12 great ideas for enhancing retakes. I particularly liked these these ideas:

5.   If students are retaking a quiz/test, don’t use the same test. The idea behind redos and retakes is for the students to master the essential understandings not to memorize the answers (A, B, D, D, C, F, etc. or Rome, Caesar, Pax Romana, Increased, etc).

6.     Instead of using the same test, change the question style from a multiple choice to short answer or essay. PPT really good especially about 70% of college teachers allowing retests

  • This slide share above gives a lot of good information but I was really surprised and intrigued to learn that nearly 70% of the college syllabi in one of their studies showed that college professors are allowing for redo's/retakes
  • One of the main knocks against giving retakes (especially for Honors and AP students) has been that they won't have this option at the next level. The most recent studies and data are not showing this to be true anymore. Honors and AP students also benefit from redo's and retakes just as much as students in lower tracks.

  • This is a GREAT article which really talks about managing the process of giving retakes.
Here are some highlights of the 14 tips:

3. Announce to students and parents that redo's are permitted at teacher discretion. This means that students and parents may not take the redo option for granted.

8. If the same student repeatedly asks for redo's, something’s wrong. The content is not developmentally appropriate, there are unseen issues at home, or perhaps there’s an undiagnosed learning disability. Investigate.

9. Choose your battles. Push hard for students to redo anything associated with the most important curriculum standards and less so with work associated with less important standards.

Again, when considering your retakes and redo's remember this important maxim:

This is important.

You can do it.

And I won't give up on you.