US History in Film was a new course to me this previous school year. A
s such, I had to create new resources and assessments as well as structuring the course. It is an interesting course in that the students watch movies that correlate to the US History curriculum. However, that time spent in class watching movies, is time away from going over the subject matter as well. Above are two questions that deal with the Civil War Era. Question #3 is essentially a general knowledge question, whereas question #6 has a relationship to a movie shown in class, Glory. However, question #6 could remove its association to Robert Gould Shaw and thus the movie Glory and still be an appropriate general knowledge question for the course. Of these two, question #3 was most missed.
When I created this assessment I based its construction off of general knowledge of the subject matter (most of the students have previously take US History) and the correlation to the films in class. These two questions are a great example of my failure to reinforce general knowledge and the success a film’s relationship to general knowledge has. Question #3 was dropped from the scoring while most students correctly answered question #6.
To determine this reliablity I used the tool Zipgrade. Zipgrade creates Scantron-like sheets available for a teacher to print from their computer where once filled in by the student becomes essentially a QR code to be scanned for accuracy. It is one of the best tools in face to face education in the last four years. Not only does the application grade the assessments, but it provides important analytics for teacher use. Because of this, I was able to see that question #3 was not representative of the course and the test and therefore I removed the question from scoring. Zipgrade brings the benefits of LMS online quizzing and analytics to the physical classroom.
Also of note, and another good reason I choose these two questions, is the difference in the distractors. When making the exam I used a best practice of alphabetizing the distractors so as to not subconsciously repeat certain answer choices. This was done on question #6 but not question 3#. However, I did include distractors that were familiar and similar in scope to the correct answer which does help to increase the validity of the assessment.
Security for this assessment was “old school”. Copies were locked and not presented to the students until the testing date. Assessment security is certainly different between the virtual and face to face school. In the physical classroom you have eyes on the assessment taker; not so much in the virtual classroom. Security in the virtual classroom should utilize a large question bank, a set time limit (able to be adjusted in accordance with Special Education needs) and other tools available. These other tools could include a no right-click function to prevent copying, an inability to open up new tabs or pages to prevent fact checking and perhaps the inability to open up other programs (a calculator for instance). However, all of these other tools don’t prevent the student from utilizing another person or utilizing another device to circumvent those security measures. Therefore, virtual classrooms must lean on the previously listed tools of time limits and large question banks to insure utmost security.