Quantity is quality (2)

This post from Victoria made me think. She

If we told students that we would give them ONE test a year and that their entire grade for the whole year rested on that ONE test, nothing else. What would we see?

We would see parents yelling. We would see students crying. We would see legislators acting against those “horrible teachers” who don’t teach.

It reminded me of the pottery story. And it made me think of that story in different terms. Whereas before I had thought of it simply in terms of learning from mistakes, now, especially having marked school’s summer exam papers and written their reports, I’m thinking of it in other terms.

If quantity is quality, if the one test a year approach fails, shouldn’t we be continually testing and appraising? Like those potters who were asked to make as many as possible, don’t we need to be shortening the feedback loop for learners (and with that their teachers). Perhaps one major test a year will always get worse results (and as Victoria hints, worse behaviour) than numerous, smaller less pressurised tests.