Now here’s a test I’d actually like to take. Recently, Dr. Olga Dub at Woodworth assessed her students on their understanding of the rock cycle. To do this, Dr. Dub created a Moodle quiz complete with quality images in full color, as well as a variety of question types including multiple choice and matching.

Here’s a glimpse at what students experienced on test day:

 

If you’ve taught (or lived) for any length of time, you’d agree that the value of color in learning is immeasurable. It’s inherently engaging and stimulating to the human brain, consistent with real life and laboratory experiences–and in the case of testing, I’d also argue that using color in assessments is a measure geared toward eliminating bias. My experience as a teacher and as a human being tells me there’s a manner of thinking involved in going from a color-filled real world to a monochromatic testing world that is on the order of translation from one language to another. Ok, perhaps it’s not quite that dramatic. But if you have technology at your disposal that will make learning as authentic as possible, why would you not use it to that end?


Ode to an Unused Book

Somewhere there’s a textbook with a puke green cover sitting on a shelf with the title Biology for Today

durable

monocolor

cloth-bound

hand-illustrated

replete with yellowed pages hand-sewn to the binding

gathering dust

lying to itself and its absent audience about its relevance

yea, by its very name.

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