A few weeks ago I wrote about an “Enhancing Multiple Choice” questions with a graphic organizer that forces students to really think about the information contained in the question. I have been using this technique as a pre-assessment in my current unit and it really seems to be both effective and engaging. Part of the engagement is its current novelty among the students but the opportunity to master the topic has some appeal as well. I have actually had students ask to do more work with this method as we go through the rest of the semester! (A word of warning – It is time consuming but very much worth the investment.)
I am also planning on using a similar technique as a review tool for the required End of Course Exam coming in May. Students are required to take a district level Benchmark Exam which covers the information from roughly Reconstruction through the Modern American Era. The test will be 55 questions long which is far too long for the enhanced multiple choice document to really be effective; however, I have been tweaking a test correction form that I have borrowed from Mr. Kozlowsky (@MrKoz31) that I think will work out nicely.
This form is designed to fit onto a half sheet of paper and I intend on printing out 4 to a page (front and back). As an AVID based school our students have a required 3″ Binder broken into subject sections. These will go into the Social Studies section so that they have the content to study from. Many readers will point out that this could easily be turned into Google Form but with my particular students this year once a digital piece of work is submitted it seems to disappear into the pixilated ether. I want them to be able to see this and touch this work later. (Obviously exceptions will be made if needed by the student)
The basic plan is to have the students take the Benchmark Test when we come back from Spring Break. We use AchievementSeries.com to take the test so students will see their results immediately. Once we have determined which questions are missed they will use this test correction form for each question that was answered incorrectly. They can earn upto full credit for each question for which they complete the test correction form. As an added incentive to do well on the test I am replacing their lowest test score of the semester with the final score of the Benchmark.
In truth this review will be a test run for Standards Based Grading next year. Since my state will still have content knowledge requirements my goal is to use the Enhanced Multiple Choice activities with the Test Corrections to help students better show growth towards content mastery. It is still a work in progress but the outline of the structure is starting to come together.
I forgot to mention that the SS Skills box in the graphic organizer will be correlated to the 2020 Social Studies Standards Skills. I am thrilled that the state is finally recognizing that History is more than the memorization of facts and dates. These are skills that were already a focal point of my instruction but now I have another tool to help explain to admin and other US History teachers why the skills need to be taught rather than Drill and Kill for the EOC Exam.
The Incorrect Answer reasoning O/I/W format comes from Tom Richey (tomrichey.net) and his AP US History review guide. I think it does a nice job of explaining how the distractors are built. Here is a description of each reason.