Monday, July 13, 2020

CONFIRMATION: Online Final Exam

This year,due to the disruption of Covid-19, we ended up creating a final exam for the students to take online. We wanted ot use Google Forms and had a few concerns though: 
  1. We only had the 8th graders for one year and didn't know what they learned from the previous pastor, so there are parts of the test that were simplified.
  2. We chose to have them test at home, but knowing kids, wanted to make sure they didn't test on their own, so we sent each test to a parent email with very direct instructions. 
  3. We wanted the test to be timed and to count any instances that students left the site because it would be more difficult for them to look elsewhere for online help. We used for this and it worked very well. 
  4. We didn't want it to be too long, but also wanted it to be comprehensive. 
As an educator, what I've noticed working with pastors is that they more often ask questions to illicit information, especially from confirmands. They want their students to be able to recite back what they've memorized, which may be why so many still like a questioning night. I prefer there's a deeper understanding and finding out what they are thinking just as much as what facts they can recite back. Some will say that if they get it in their head/heart that they'll carry it with them, which is true, if they truly memorize it, reviewing it over time and not just once one week in a span of a 2 year course. 

It's easy and really beneficial to add answers to the simple questions so that they grade themselves, but you will want to look at the short and longer responses. If you add short answers you may find that the program expects them to match a little too closely to grade them well. I've shortened the number of questions in a couple of sections because we didn't teach those and didn't want to penalize students for past teachers. Look at the test via this link. 

Remember: when kids are working online it's on the honor system. We can remind in instructions and ask parents to oversee, but we'll never know what happens. If there's a little cheating going on, it's not the end of the world. After you grade each test (you can add comments) you can let students see their results and send an email to parents (check the email at the beginning of the exam). I simply let a couple of students know that the pastor would be contacting them before the service.  

 Take a peek below.