DepEd Sarangani conducts write-shop on test construction

I WROTE in the Teacher Strengths and Needs Assessment (TSNA) last year that I need to be trained in varied tools for assessment. Notwithstanding the focus on authentic assessment and performance tasks, standardized tests are still in the paper-and-pencil format, er, multiple choice questions. I am glad that our supervisors decided to organize a write-shop on the subject, and I have learned that multiple-choice questions can be made more reliable and their discrimination index improved by looking at research-based guidelines and criteria in writing good test items.

multiple choice test

The most important insight that I have gained is that the test should measure what we ought to. That calls forth alignment of assessment to the learning objectives.

Which reminds me: When I attended the Understanding by Design (UbD) training at the UP-NISMED in 2009, I have learned that before planning instruction, we have to think first of the end result. A clear vision of the end result gives direction to the planning process, and that means, we have to plan the acceptable evidence or the standards first before crafting strategies that will enable the students to attain the learning objectives. Doing so helps ensure that the objectives, the strategy, and the assessment are all aligned.

I have kept that in mind since. After learning about the guidelines that our speakers relayed from a training they participated in last summer in Cebu, I can now fine tune the test questions I have prepared in my four-year (almost) teaching experience. When I write test questions now, I am more confident that I am really measuring the specific understandings I want the students to learn and carry with them as they leave the door of my classroom.

The write-shop on test construction organized by Mrs. Laforeza Maguate, Ms. Rebecca Gregorio, and Mr. Maximo Cabanlit will last until August 3, and we are expected to draft test questions that can be used for the unified periodical exams for this school year. (For two years now, periodical exams in the Division are being prepared by the supervisors and are administered to all students in Sarangani.) My problem is this: I am alone in the Physics group. I wish physics teachers from other schools will join me tomorrow and on Wednesday so that we can compare each others’ work and help each other improve our test questions.

The write-shop is part of the efforts of the Division personnel and of all the teachers in Sarangani to enhance learning among our students and subsequently, and improve our performance in the National Achievement Test. According to the Assistant Schools Division Superintendent, Mr. Socrates Mabalot, the Division ranked 5th among the 9 divisions of Region XII. That is better than last year’s result where Sarangani ranked 8th.


Ariel Lalisan

Ariel Lalisan

Ariel Lalisan is a physics teacher at Alabel National Science High School. He is an advocate of constructivism approach in education. He employs active learning and independent learning in his lessons, and, of course, a lot of technology integration. His goal is to produce students who can solve problems on their own using the concepts they learn in the classroom. Ariel Lalisan is a Google Certified Innovator (Google Teachers Academy Southeast Asia 2014) and a community leader at Google Educator Group Sarangani. He is a co-founder of SoCCSKSarGen and he won the Globe Media Excellence Blogger of the Year Award in 2015.

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5 thoughts on “DepEd Sarangani conducts write-shop on test construction

    1. That is because we have a different set of competencies. Our curriculum is enhanced and enriched. For example, we have Physics and Chemistry in both 3rd year and 4th year. In regular schools, Chemistry is offered only in the third year level, while Physics is offered only for fourth year students. We also have other subjects that are not offered in regular schools, such as Analytic Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Basic and Advanced Statistics, Technical Writing, and Research, among others. So, teachers here have to prepare a different set of questions.

    2. i must agree, ma’am. I will share my comment, ma’am to you but this is addressed to the writer.the problems with this kind of unified/standardized periodical tests are – first, late transmission or delivery of test papers, moreover, lacking. We can reproduce them if they come one week in advance. But we are very disappointed that our second grading just came on the 2nd week of November. 2nd grading test should have been through on the 2nd or 3rd week of October; second, cancellation of classes for whatever reason is relative from one school to others thus, the coverage of competencies is lessened in contrast to standardized ones which are completely covered and we must say based on the central school pupils’ capacity level. Insights/opinions – the higher office has lost their trust upon the teacher’s ability to construct test paper; this demoralize and discourage us, teachers always have to wait when test papers have to come, the hassle of waiting and reproducing takes time, money and effort that could instead be utilized for class activities. Classroom teachers are already pressured and certainly this discordance adds up. SUGGESTIONS – Should this scheme of having periodical tests for a lifetime, please give us complete copies (even one copy each; we will find means to reproduce) in advance so that we can keep up with other important school and classroom activities on time; WHY NOT TRAIN EVERY TEACHER IN EVERY SCHOOL EXTENSIVELY AND INTENSIVELY ON THE HOWs OF TEST CONSTRUCTION; OBSERVE THEM LEARN, DEVELOP AND GROW, FREE THEM WHEN THEIR FULLY INDEPENDENT. I hope these concerns will be reflected upon. thank u!

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