Two tier testing

This "2-tier" test requires the student to answer a multiple-choice question and then justify their response by telling why they selected that response. The students' test scores, their answer "choice", and their explanation are all saved in a text file (named help.txt) that you can use for evaluation, discussion, and review.

Download the software 2_tier.exe (if you are an AuthorWare programmer, here is the source code) and print this instructions page.

1. Open notepad or another "text" editor and create 5 multiple-choice questions in this format: line 1 contains the first question, line 2 the letter of the correct response, lines 3 - 6 the four alternatives, line 7 the next question etc.

  What your text file should look like
line 1 Which of the following is the present capital of Pennsylvania?
line 2 b
line 3 a. Pittsburgh
line 4 b. Harrisburg
line 5 c. Philadelphia
line 6 d. Allentown
line 7 etc Where is Pittsburgh located? etc.

2. Save this text file in the same folder as the 2_tier.exe software (2_tier reads the text file at test time). Name the text file MCQs_.txt, in place of the _ give the test name. (For example, a test named "Capitals" should be saved as MCQsCapitals.txt).

test name file name
Capitals MCQsCapitals.txt
Presidents MCQsPresidents.txt
Colors MCQsColors.txt

3. It is ok to rename 2_tier.exe to any name.exe that you desire, but be careful with the text file names, they MUST be in the form described in step 2 above.

4. Be sure that 2_tier.exe and the MCQs_.txt files are in the same folder and that your students have access to READ and WRITE into that folder. (Test student access level by using a student's login before class to see if the test comes up and that the results are written back into the results files).

5. To use the test, have students double-click on 2_tier.exe. The software will ask them to type in their name and press enter. Next, it asks for the test name. The test name for MCQsCapitals.txt is "Capitals" so type in "Capitals". You will have to tell your students that the test name is "Capitals". If they misspell the test name, their test will come up without any questions. If that happens, they simply Quit and start over by double-clicking on 2_tier.exe, no harm done.

6. Two files are created with students' results, one called help.txt (contains just student name and total score) and comments.txt (contains student name and responses to each question including explanations). We named the files help and comments to disguise the purpose of the files from the students.

We usually open these files in Excel because it is easier to sort, average, and grade etc. in Excel than in Notepad. Also, if you take the test with the name "Teacher", then sort so that Teacher ends up at the top of the EXCEL list, then that Teacher ROW can serve as a reference for the correct response and a typical explanation when it come time to analyze the "explanations".

I use this format in my "advanced assessment" class and also in my "teacher's using technology" class at the OJR school district. Let me know if and how you use it. This is version 1.0 so I can easily modify it.

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