Each June, grades 6 and 11 graduating students take a province-wide standardized exam in English. Last Friday, I, and the language board consultants from the rest of the province, were the first to take a glimpse at what this year’s exams look like. The folks from the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS) provided us with a 2 hour presentation of their exams and evaluation situations.
I was very impressed.
Not a multiple choice question, fill-in-blank, or short answer question in sight.
Of course, that hasn’t been the case for years anyways!
What was remarkable to me about the exams and evaluation situations was that they used multi-media, multi-modes, and multi-genres of the presentations of the texts. One of the evaluation situations created was based on the issue of how much technology is taking over our lives. Students are expected to make written responses in a forum that is to be considered an online forum. Social networks, blogs, forums and instant messaging environments are explored and even used as vehicles for communicating some of the text the students will use as they make their responses.
These exams and evaluation situations will be given to thousands of students in our province. In a sense, this will force teachers to become a bit online-savvy so they can appreciate the extent of the issues in the evaluation situations.
I am really proud of our very hip folks over at the ministry!