Differentiation is a hot item in current teaching contexts. We should try to meet every learner’s needs. Lots of teachers struggle with this, especially when it comes to assessment. I recently (re)read the book “Mixed-Ability Teaching” by E. Dudley and E. Osvath (OUP, 2016). In the chapter on evaluation, they give the example of “two-step test completion”.
It boils down to splitting the test into three equal parts.
In the first part, the students individually complete the test questions for a first time. At the end of this part, they hand in their copy to the teacher.
Then, in the second part, the teacher ticks off the correct answers on the individual test sheets, while the students can look for help talking to each other or they can consult their coursebooks for answers they did not know. However, they are not allowed to jot anything down at this stage. So, in fact, this results in very powerful learning.
In the third and final part, the students get their original test sheets back to have a second try, using what they have learnt in the second part.
Some teachers have a problem with accrediting marks for this type of test. Here is a possible solution: the marks of the first (e.g. 4/10) and the second attempt (e.g. 9/10) could be added up and constitute the final test outcome (e.g. 13/20).
Worth a try! A teacher who did this, told me that his students were very keen on it.