## Monday, October 17, 2016

### Writing Tests

I'm currently taking a testing/measurement/assessment course for my master's program.  While lately I've been poring over research to see if there's any consensus about what makes for a math teacher (and which teacher candidates might become great math teachers), and the results are about what I expected.

Leaving those lofty research heights, however, I'm compelled, by virtue of living in the real world, to continue to teach and assess my students--and that means writing tests and quizzes.  Putting some of the practical lessons I've learned to good use, I spent quite a bit of time today writing a test on basic probability.

One thing I've learned:  be explicit about what I expect.  Rather than saying, "what is the probability of drawing, without replacement, 2 consecutive kings from a deck of cards?",  my wording is now somewhat different:
What is the probability of drawing, without replacement, 2 consecutive kings from a deck of cards?  State the applicable formula/rule, substitute numbers into that formula, and then solve.
Clarity and specificity are the keys.

And if you're wondering, the answer would be:
P(A and B) = P(A)*P(B|A)
P(K and K) = 4/52*3/51 = 4/884 = 1/221