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Should we have tests in virtual learning?

Kevin Ruiz is a senior at Cleveland STEM High School and a marketing intern at Floop. 

Should we have tests in virtual learning?

“We will have a test tomorrow.” Is the last sentence any student wants to hear, now imagine hearing that you have to take a test from home, but the question for teachers is how will we have students take tests from home or even evaluate how much they are learning from home. I’ve always been a student who doesn’t like studying or preparing for tests, but when you get that test back and you see that A or 100/100, it’s one of the best feelings in the world, but at times there are those bad tests. In this virtual learning environment, we as students and teachers have to figure out what is the best way to have students take tests when we are learning from home. I feel we could have many ways to loop around the struggles of taking a test from home. I would prefer no tests but I still feel like there needs to be something where we could be evaluating our learning from home.


Problems

Taking tests at home can come with a lot of problems for students and teachers. Some examples of problems that could occur:
  • Cheating
  • Technology issues
  • Retakes
  • Limited resources to take the test
These are just some of the examples that could happen when dealing with taking a test, this all ties in with the ability to truly learn from home, are we students going to take the time to sit in front of our laptops all day and learn the content that is being given out to us because when it comes to testing time, no one wants to fail. Each teacher will most likely have their way of evaluating us and giving us a grade that they feel best fits us. In a normal classroom, there's still the worry of someone cheating, now without a teacher in the same room as you that aspect becomes a much more big worry and some student may take advantage of that, others might not it is just about knowing how to tell if a student is cheating, or creating a way to eliminate the possibility of cheating. Others times it might not be about cheating, it might be about a students technical issues and how they are not able to take a test with the rest of a class, what does a student need to do to take that or retake that test, so many questions can be asked but these questions can be answered too.

Solutions

If students and teachers continue to work together, build that trust up, use the resources available, a student should be able to succeed when it comes to taking a test, it would be like just being in your regular classroom. Since we are not in our regular classroom we will encounter certain problems when teachers are attempting to evaluate a student on what they have learned, the problems were discussed in the last paragraph. So what exactly could we do to stop cheating, me being a student, there are so many ways now to communicate with classmates than ever before and there are so many resources online that a student can use to help them out on anything, One idea I have is set a time with each student during the class period, where it is just the teacher and the student, the teacher can ask the student questions that would be on a test but instead a student just straight up tells the teachers their answers. Through the call, a student would still be able to have his or her notes, so why not make it open note, helping students develop their skills of preparing for a test or interview or whatever it could be. This could be arranged through our application Floop which allows teachers to chat with their students outside of class and offer feedback on their assignments but also set up meetings.

With virtual learning comes virtual issues, a teacher should understand that a student may go through some technical difficulties and have problems completing an assignment or test, for us students it's also about a teacher understanding our position and what we may be dealing with working from home and it might not just be a technical issue, it could a personal issue, so having the flexibility to deal with all this and give students and teachers time to adjust to all of this is key.

Should we even make students take tests?

I feel like we should still have some way for evaluating our work from home because it may be hard for a teacher to know how much a student is learning, especially if they are not seeing them every day. Students should be able to display what they have learned and what their hard work has contributed to in some way, it doesn't have to be a test but can be a presentation or maybe even an essay depending on the class. I think many teachers will take that route instead of normal tests.

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