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I have used pretesting for quite some time and I have used this method for two different reasons. First, it can be used to show the students what they can learn and achieve from this course, and secondly it is used by myself to guage thier competency level. This allows me to adjust my level of input to thier needs and understanding. Lastly, on the last day of class I like to return thier pretest to them so that now they may visualize what they accomplished in my course.

Hi Truitt,
Three great uses of pretests. These uses benefit everyone throughout the course. I am sure there are some shocked students at the end of the course when they are shown how far they have come in their learning.

I too give back the pretest at the end of the course - this provides an end of course AH HA moment which I love watching. Generally my students are giggling and laughing at themselves for how hard they thought the original test was. It certainly doesn't hurt the ego either seeing how much a group of students has accomplished!

Hi Meghan,
What a great way to send the students out the door being excited about how much they have learned throughout the course. This really gets them ramped up for the next course or going to work. Good job!

Truitt, this process appears to be helpful for me also. I have used a similiar approach. The sense of accomplishment at the end of the course seems to have a tremendous boost for confidence building. Each time, the students has an opportunity to feel good about the then and now.

The pretesting method is a great idea for examining how one might have to adjust course content. I usually teach writing (composition) courses and we have what we call a diagnostic. An instructor has the class write a one to two page paper during one of the first class sessions. This lets us know how much time we have to spend on grammar, organization, etc. It also lets us know how wide of a range of student competency we are dealing with, and to identify early students that might need extra help.

I have used pretesting before. It is a good tool to show students general course content. Also it helps me to adjust course content.

I have never thought about pretesting before but I love the idea of giving the students a pretest at the beginning of the course and then giving it back to them at the end of the course. That's a great idea.

Hi Amy,
I know you are going to really see excitement through the use of the pretest and then showing how much they have improved at the end of the course. This information becomes graphic for the students helping them to realize how far they have come in a short period of time.

Pretesing is very useful in assessing your students level of knowledge or competency. This is how a tailor my lecture for my students. If they are weak in some areas I try to include it on my test/exams, which are cumulative, so that they are working towards improvement.

I have not considered or realized the application of pretesting for specialized courses. I formerly associated the process with general knowledge or competence, not of relevance to design subject coursework. I plan to develop pretests that would be administered in the first periods of the term for the specialized subject.

Hi John,
Good to hear because I think you will be excited about the results. You will get a much clearer picture of where your students are so you can concentrate your instructional planning to provide support at the critical times.

Truitt, I agree with your view points on pretesting. At the university where I instruct, I use pretesting as a baseline of where I have to start off lecturing to the class. I also use it as a tool to see which student/s may need extra help.

I use retesting to gauge my students learning. I might give a quiz & then later in the course give the same quiz/test to see it they learned from their mistakes. I think it also reinforces the importance of what was on the quiz....that it's not just a "one time deal". They come to realize that they had better learn the information because they will see it again.

I do something similar. I give a pretest, have them self grade as a class and go over the correct answers together. I have them save their pretests as study guides for a future quiz.

I like the idea of pretesting because it provides the instructor a baseline assessment of the learners. After reviewing the results, I can challenge some and coddle others to make a cohesive group of learners.

I use pretesting in my current class quite often. I feel that it helps build confidence when the students see how much they already know from the get go. I can then use the results of pretesting to adapt my lessons so that we don't waste a lot of time on topics that students have already mastered and we can focus more attention on new topics or those that students need more help with.

You are correct. It is a great tool for adding self confidence to some students.

pretesting in culinary is a great method to guage their competency. It allows both the student and the instructor a view into what they have retained from prior classes. This is especially important in Culinary Arts as the classes build upon each other.
We can not asume because a student has successfully passed a prior class that they know all the aspects taught in the prior class and are ready to apply them to the next class.

Hi Tyler,
I agree with pretesting and this is why I use it in my courses. I don't know what my students know until I see the results of the pretest.

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