A concept inventory is a criterion-referenced test designed to help determine whether a student has an accurate working knowledge of a specific set of concepts. Concept inventories have been in the form of multiple-choice tests in order to aid interpretability and facilitate administration in large classes. Unlike a typical, teacher-authored multiple-choice test and response choices on concept inventories are the subject of extensive research; the aims of the research include ascertaining the range of what individuals think a particular question is asking and the most common responses to the questions. Concept inventories are evaluated to ensure test validity. In its final form, each question includes several distractors. Ideally, a score on a criterion-referenced test reflects the amount of content knowledge a student has mastered. Criterion-referenced tests differ from norm-referenced tests in that the former is not used to compare an individual's score to the scores of the group. Ordinarily, the purpose of a criterion-referenced test is to ascertain whether a student mastered a predetermined amount of content knowledge.
In general, item difficulty values ranging between 30% and 70% are best able to provide information about student understanding. The distractors are incorrect or irrelevant answers that are based on students' held misconceptions. Test developers research student misconceptions by examining students' responses to open-ended essay questions and conducting "think-aloud" interviews with students; the distractors chosen by students help researchers understand student thinking and give instructors insights into students' prior knowledge. This foundation in research underlies instrument construction and design, plays a role in helping educators obtain clues about students' ideas, scientific misconceptions, didaskalogenic confusions and conceptual lacunae that interfere with learning. Concept inventories are education-related diagnostic tests. In 1985 Halloun and Hestenes introduced a "multiple-choice mechanics diagnostic test" to examine students' concepts about motion, it evaluates student understanding of basic concepts in classical mechanics.
A little the Force Concept Inventory, another concept inventory, was developed. The FCI was designed to assess student understanding of the Newtonian concepts of force. Hestenes found that while "nearly 80% of the could state Newton's Third Law at the beginning of the course. FCI data showed that less than 15% of them understood it at the end"; these results have been replicated in a number of studies involving students at a range of institutions. That said, there remains questions as what the FCI measures. Results from Hake using the FCI have led to greater recognition in the science education community of the importance of students' "interactive engagement" with the materials to be mastered.. Since the development of the FCI, other physics instruments have been developed; these include the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation developed by Thornton and Sokoloff and the Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment developed by Ding et al. For a discussion of how a number of concept inventories were developed see Beichner.
Information about physics concept tests can be found at the NC State Physics Education Research Group website. In addition to physics, concept inventories have been developed in statistics, astronomy, basic biology, natural selection, engineering, geoscience. and computer science. In many areas, foundational scientific concepts transcend disciplinary boundaries. An example of an inventory that assesses knowledge of such concepts is an instrument developed by Odom and Barrow to evaluate understanding of diffusion and osmosis. In addition, there are non-multiple choice conceptual instruments, such as the essay-based approach suggested by Wright et al. and the essay and oral exams used by Nehm and Schonfeld. and Cooper et al to measure student understanding of Lewis structures in chemistry. Some concept inventories are problematic; the concepts tested may not be fundamental or important in a particular discipline, the concepts involved may not be explicitly taught in a class or curriculum, or answering a question may require only a superficial understanding of a topic.
It is therefore possible to either under-estimate student content mastery. While concept inventories designed to identify trends in student thinking may not be useful in monitoring learning gains as a result of pedagogical interventions, disciplinary mastery may not be the variable measured by a particular instrument. Users should be careful to ensure that concept inventories are testing conceptual understanding, rather than test-taking ability, language skills, or other abilities that can influence test performance; the use of multiple-choice exams as concept inventories is not without controversy. The structure of multiple-choice type concept inventories raises questions involving the extent to which complex, nuanced situations and ideas must be simplified or clarified to produce unambiguous responses. For example, a multiple-choice exam designed to assess knowledge of key concepts in natural selection does not meet a number of standards of quality control. One problem with the exam is that the two memb
A test or examination is an assessment intended to measure a test-taker's knowledge, aptitude, physical fitness, or classification in many other topics. A test may be administered verbally, on paper, on a computer, or in a predetermined area that requires a test taker to demonstrate or perform a set of skills. Tests vary in style and requirements. For example, in a closed book test, a test taker is required to rely upon memory to respond to specific items whereas in an open book test, a test taker may use one or more supplementary tools such as a reference book or calculator when responding. A test may be administered informally. An example of an informal test would be a reading test administered by a parent to a child. A formal test might be a final examination administered by a teacher in a classroom or an I. Q. test administered by a psychologist in a clinic. Formal testing results in a grade or a test score. A test score may be interpreted with regards to a norm or criterion, or both; the norm may be established independently, or by statistical analysis of a large number of participants.
An exam is meant to test a persons willingness to give time to manipulate that subject. A standardized test is any test, administered and scored in a consistent manner to ensure legal defensibility. Standardized tests are used in education, professional certification, the military, many other fields. A non-standardized test is flexible in scope and format, variable in difficulty and significance. Since these tests are developed by individual instructors, the format and difficulty of these tests may not be adopted or used by other instructors or institutions. A non-standardized test may be used to determine the proficiency level of students, to motivate students to study, to provide feedback to students. In some instances, a teacher may develop non-standardized tests that resemble standardized tests in scope and difficulty for the purpose of preparing their students for an upcoming standardized test; the frequency and setting by which a non-standardized tests are administered are variable and are constrained by the duration of the class period.
A class instructor may for example, administer a test on a weekly basis or just twice a semester. Depending on the policy of the instructor or institution, the duration of each test itself may last for only five minutes to an entire class period. In contrasts to non-standardized tests, standardized tests are used, fixed in terms of scope and format, are significant in consequences. Standardized tests are held on fixed dates as determined by the test developer, educational institution, or governing body, which may or may not be administered by the instructor, held within the classroom, or constrained by the classroom period. Although there is little variability between different copies of the same type of standardized test, there is variability between different types of standardized tests. Any test with important consequences for the individual test taker is referred to as a high-stakes test. A test may be developed and administered by an instructor, a clinician, a governing body, or a test provider.
In some instances, the developer of the test may not be directly responsible for its administration. For example, Educational Testing Service, a nonprofit educational testing and assessment organization, develops standardized tests such as the SAT but may not directly be involved in the administration or proctoring of these tests; as with the development and administration of educational tests, the format and level of difficulty of the tests themselves are variable and there is no general consensus or invariable standard for test formats and difficulty. The format and difficulty of the test is dependent upon the educational philosophy of the instructor, subject matter, class size, policy of the educational institution, requirements of accreditation or governing bodies. In general, tests developed and administered by individual instructors are non-standardized whereas tests developed by testing organizations are standardized. Ancient China was the first country in the world that implemented a nationwide standardized test, called the imperial examination.
The main purpose of this examination was to select able candidates for specific governmental positions. The imperial examination was established by the Sui dynasty in 605 AD and was abolished by the Qing dynasty 1300 years in 1905. England had adopted this examination system in 1806 to select specific candidates for positions in Her Majesty's Civil Service, modeled on the Chinese imperial examination; this examination system was applied to education and it started to influence other parts of the world as it became a prominent standard, of delivering standardised tests. As the profession transitioned to the modern mass-education system, the style of examination became fixed, with the stress on standardized papers to be sat by large numbers of students. Leading the way in this regard was the burgeoning Civil Service that began to move toward a meritocratic basis for selection in the mid 19th century in England. British civil service was influenced by the imperial examinations system and meritocratic system of China.
Thomas Taylor Meadows, Britain's consul in Guangzhou, China argued in his Desultory Notes on the Government and People of China, published in 1847, that "the long duration of the Chinese empire is and altogether owing to the good government which consists in the advancement of men of talent and me
A standardized test is a test, administered and scored in a consistent, or "standard", manner. Standardized tests are designed in such a way that the questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, interpretations are consistent and are administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner. Any test in which the same test is given in the same manner to all test takers, graded in the same manner for everyone, is a standardized test. Standardized tests do not need to be high-stakes tests, time-limited tests, or multiple-choice tests; the questions can be complex. The subject matter among school-age students is academic skills, but a standardized test can be given on nearly any topic, including driving tests, personality, professional ethics, or other attributes; the opposite of standardized testing is non-standardized testing, in which either different tests are given to different test takers, or the same test is assigned under different conditions or evaluated differently. Most everyday quizzes and tests taken by students meet the definition of a standardized test: everyone in the class takes the same test, at the same time, under the same circumstances, all of the students are graded by their teacher in the same way.
However, the term standardized test is most used to refer to tests that are given to larger groups, such as a test taken by all adults who wish to acquire a license to have a particular kind of job, or by all students of a certain age. Because everyone gets the same test and the same grading system, standardized tests are perceived as being fairer than non-standardized test; such tests are thought of as fairer and more objective than a system in which some students get an easier test and others get a more difficult test. That perception, which may or may not be accurate, depends on the purpose for the test. If a teacher wishes to determine individual children's skills with respect to a specific activity, tests other than those that are standardized are more effective. Standardized tests are designed to permit reliable comparison of outcomes across all test takers, because everyone is taking the same test. While that point is granted the children tested have not been exposed to the same materials found on those standardized tests.
Such tests are constructed by individuals who have no knowledge of the test-takers beyond their age and/or grade level. Age and/or grade level, are poor indicators of what children have learned; as a result, conclusions drawn from the results can be wrong. The prevalence of standardized testing in formal education has been criticized for many reasons; the definition of a standardized test has changed somewhat over time. In 1960, standardized tests were defined as those in which the conditions and content were equal for everyone taking the test, regardless of when, where, or by whom the test was given or graded; the purpose of this standardization is to make sure that the scores reliably indicate the abilities or skills being measured, not other things, such as different instructions about what to do if the test taker does not know the answer to a question. By the beginning of the 21st century, the focus shifted away from a strict sameness of conditions towards equal fairness of conditions. For example, a test taker with a broken wrist might write more because of the injury, it would be more fair, produce a more reliable understanding of the test taker's actual knowledge, if that person were given a few more minutes to write down the answers to a most test.
However, if the purpose of the test is to see how the student could write this would become a modification of the content, no longer a standardized test. The earliest evidence of standardized testing was in China, during the Han Dynasty, where the imperial examinations covered the Six Arts which included music, horsemanship, arithmetic and knowledge of the rituals and ceremonies of both public and private parts; these exams were used to select employees for the state bureaucracy. Sections on military strategies, civil law and taxation, agriculture and geography were added to the testing. In this form, the examinations were institutionalized for more than a millennium. Today, standardized testing remains used, most famously in the Gaokao system. Standardized testing was introduced into Europe in the early 19th century, modeled on the Chinese mandarin examinations, through the advocacy of British colonial administrators, the most "persistent" of, Britain's consul in Guangzhou, Thomas Taylor Meadows.
Meadows warned of the collapse of the British Empire if standardized testing was not implemented throughout the empire immediately. Prior to their adoption, standardized testing was not traditionally a part of Western pedagogy, it is because of this, that the first European implementation of standardized testing did not occur in Europe proper, but in British India. Inspired by the Chinese use of standardized testing, in the early 19th century, British "company managers hired and promoted employees based on competitive examinations in order to prevent corruption and favoritism." This practice of standardized testing was adopted in the late 19th century by the British mainland. The parliamentary debates that ensued made many references to the "Chinese mandarin system", it was from B
Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, values and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, teaching and directed research. Education takes place under the guidance of educators and learners may educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational; the methodology of teaching is called pedagogy. Formal education is divided formally into such stages as preschool or kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and college, university, or apprenticeship. A right to education has been recognized by the United Nations. In most regions, education is compulsory up to a certain age. Etymologically, the word "education" is derived from the Latin word ēducātiō from ēducō, related to the homonym ēdūcō from ē- and dūcō. Education began in prehistory, as adults trained the young in the knowledge and skills deemed necessary in their society.
In pre-literate societies, this was achieved orally and through imitation. Story-telling passed knowledge and skills from one generation to the next; as cultures began to extend their knowledge beyond skills that could be learned through imitation, formal education developed. Schools existed in Egypt at the time of the Middle Kingdom. Plato founded the Academy in the first institution of higher learning in Europe; the city of Alexandria in Egypt, established in 330 BCE, became the successor to Athens as the intellectual cradle of Ancient Greece. There, the great Library of Alexandria was built in the 3rd century BCE. European civilizations suffered a collapse of literacy and organization following the fall of Rome in CE 476. In China, Confucius, of the State of Lu, was the country's most influential ancient philosopher, whose educational outlook continues to influence the societies of China and neighbours like Korea and Vietnam. Confucius gathered disciples and searched in vain for a ruler who would adopt his ideals for good governance, but his Analects were written down by followers and have continued to influence education in East Asia into the modern era.
The Aztecs had a well-developed theory about education, which has an equivalent word in Nahuatl called tlacahuapahualiztli. It means "the art of raising or educating a person" or "the art of strengthening or bringing up men." This was a broad conceptualization of education, which prescribed that it begins at home, supported by formal schooling, reinforced by community living. Historians cite that formal education was mandatory for everyone regardless of social class and gender. There was the word neixtlamachiliztli, "the act of giving wisdom to the face." These concepts underscore a complex set of educational practices, oriented towards communicating to the next generation the experience and intellectual heritage of the past for the purpose of individual development and his integration into the community. After the Fall of Rome, the Catholic Church became the sole preserver of literate scholarship in Western Europe; the church established cathedral schools in the Early Middle Ages as centres of advanced education.
Some of these establishments evolved into medieval universities and forebears of many of Europe's modern universities. During the High Middle Ages, Chartres Cathedral operated the famous and influential Chartres Cathedral School; the medieval universities of Western Christendom were well-integrated across all of Western Europe, encouraged freedom of inquiry, produced a great variety of fine scholars and natural philosophers, including Thomas Aquinas of the University of Naples, Robert Grosseteste of the University of Oxford, an early expositor of a systematic method of scientific experimentation, Saint Albert the Great, a pioneer of biological field research. Founded in 1088, the University of Bologne is considered the first, the oldest continually operating university. Elsewhere during the Middle Ages, Islamic science and mathematics flourished under the Islamic caliphate, established across the Middle East, extending from the Iberian Peninsula in the west to the Indus in the east and to the Almoravid Dynasty and Mali Empire in the south.
The Renaissance in Europe ushered in a new age of scientific and intellectual inquiry and appreciation of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. Around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg developed a printing press, which allowed works of literature to spread more quickly; the European Age of Empires saw European ideas of education in philosophy, religion and sciences spread out across the globe. Missionaries and scholars brought back new ideas from other civilizations – as with the Jesuit China missions who played a significant role in the transmission of knowledge and culture between China and Europe, translating works from Europe like Euclid's Elements for Chinese scholars and the thoughts of Confucius for European audiences; the Enlightenment saw the emergence of a more secular educational outlook in Europe. In most countries today, full-time education, whether at school or otherwise, is compulsory for all children up to a certain age. Due to this the proliferation of compulsory education, combined with population growth, UNESCO has calculated that in the next 30 years more people will receive formal education than in all of human history thus far.
Formal education occurs in a structured environment. Formal education takes place in a school environme