Tecat Enterprises designs evaluation tests and exams that measure the level of person's understanding of a particular concept(s) or topic(s). We design these evaluation tests to virtually any subject matter in the areas of science and technology. These tests provide more accurate picture of the level of understanding and potential problem areas compared to many other tests on the market.
Academic learning involves more than ability to memorize facts, to follow procedures, and to solve problems. Particularly in science courses, it is often very important to be able to understand what is being taught. Without understanding, the very vital part of learning is not realized.
Typical school exams seldom test students' true understanding of concepts but rather the emphasis is placed on memorization. Therefore, it is possible a student to receive a high mark on an exam without having understood many of the very basic fundamental topics.
Students in many public school systems do not perform well in standardized achievement tests compared to students in private schools. Common reasons that are reported are lack of funding, shortage of qualified and competent teachers, lack of discipline, and lack of motivation. In other words, private schools have generally more resources to improve the learning environment and to hire accomplished teachers.
There are other ways the public school systems and any other school system can increase students' academic learning without spending large amount of money. The best way to improve learning is to find out exactly what students understand and what they do not. This can be accomplished by using student evaluation tests where the emphasis is placed on testing students' understanding of concepts. There is nothing wrong for including other aspects such as problem solving a long as the precise problem areas can also be recognized.
Often understanding or "getting it" hinges on minor details that educators can easily overlook. This can be as small as a single word that prevents a student from understanding a concept. How many science teachers at high school level and above have a clear idea what their students have actually understood after each lecture or at the end of a complete course? If a teacher have never tested his students' level of understanding of a particular topic or concept, how would he/she know? Imagine, if a teacher had precise information on what students have actually understood and what they have not, a common logic would dictate that he/she would make modifications to his teaching methods in order to rectify the problem areas. It can be safely assumed that once student's understanding increases, the learning becomes more interesting and thus increasing his/hers level of motivation to learn.
Not only should school systems develop these types of evaluation tests to measure students' level of understanding of concepts but also they should test teachers to identify those whose knowledge and understanding do not meet the established requirements. How would you define a good teacher? You can most likely come up a list of traits and qualities that we all can agree. One of those items has to be a reasonable knowledge and understanding of the discipline he/she teaches. If a teacher does not comprehend the material he/she is teaching, in all likelihood, his students will not "get it" either. Schools should make sure that their teachers have passed a qualifying teacher evaluation test(s) that measured the level of understanding of the subject(s) they are teaching and that teachers have also received training on how to use student evaluation tests and how to effectively evaluate the results.
We have designed
our evaluation tests to measure the understanding of a particular subject matter(s).
Different formats exist that can be used for testing the level of understanding. The easiest and most popular format for the administrators is the multiple choice. These types of tests are easy to mark and provide quick results. However, multiple choice tests are quite unreliable to pinpoint the exact problem areas. It is often impossible to ask a specific question about a topic in multiple choice format without giving away the answer. Anytime, when a person has a reasonable chance to guess the answer, the reliability of a test suffers.
The best type of tests to measure the comprehension of concepts or topics are designed in such away that most of the guesswork, memorization, and problem solving is eliminated. Our sample Electronics Evaluation Test is a good example of this type of format. Most of the questions in that test require the participant to either explain or show his/hers steps leading to the final answer.
Evaluating the Tests:
If the same format
is being used as in the Electronics
Evaluation Test, the marking or grading of the results can be done different
ways depending on the client's requirements.
Schools and companies can grade the tests as any regular exam/test or if more detail analysis is required, we recommend the use of our special evaluation sheets. We tailor these sheets to each individual test. The purpose of these evaluation sheets is to identify exact problem areas by breaking questions into individual parts or steps that lead to a final answer. Each step is then evaluated and assigned a numerical value (typically values between 0 and 3). Since all steps should carry more or less the same "weight", the average score of all steps is the number of points one is awarded for that question. That way awarding partial credit is done fairly and automatically. Clients can also decide what penalty is assessed to answers that are "impossible"or not realistic. Once the marking is completed, all the numerical data from all the participants is placed on data management programs (spread sheets) and the results can be evaluated by using the features of these programs and other computer programs. Each individual step can be linked to a corresponding plain English explanation so that the administrators who may do not have background in the subject matter can understand the results. We design evaluation sheets to accommodate many automatic readers such as optical scanners.
Benefits for using Evaluation Tests:
Midterm Exams (or any other exams that are returned to students):
and returned (midterm) exams provide students very little use afterwards due
to nature of these exams.
Instructors seldom include exam questions that test students understanding of the exam material but rather the emphasis is in memorization, problem solving, and ability to follow steps and procedures.
We design our (midterm)
exams practically the same way as our evaluation tests. Since skills such as
problem solving may be important in some disciplines, on client's request, we
can include any type of questions in exams such as ones requiring problem-solving
skills. Also, when appropriate, we include necessary formulas, graphs, block
diagrams, or any other items that students might need to answer a particular
We do not provide evaluation sheets since instructors should mark these exams as any regular exams.
We provide answer sheets on request.
Benefits for using our midterm exams:
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