I have previously expressed my dismay with the amount of multiple choice tests I see at my daughter’s high school — the “Scantron” tests. Even then name says something….. Tron? Seriously?
I’d post some of the questions from her tests, but the tests aren’t allowed out of the classroom! When I have seen them, the vast, vast majority of the questions are, as described below, random fact recall. When I’ve asked teachers why they need to ask these questions, it’s because the “kids need to know this by memory to access higher level classes.” Wow – I’m doing professional history, and I couldn’t answer some of the definitions/rote memory questions on those tests, yet I am successful. I could, however, find those answers in seconds because I know where/how to look, how to analyze sources and how to think creatively.
It was with great pleasure that I found Beyond the Bubble today. This is an alternative history assessment concept, based on Library of Congress primary sources. I have to dig a little deeper, but at first glance, I love the concept. Assessment based on direct primary source analysis, not rote random fact recall.
Check out their amusing little video: