Course pretest

A pre-test is a test of student preknowledge, experiences, prerequisites and expectations before a course starts that may form a baseline that enables the teacher to teach and inform according to the actual level of students, and to track learning, and to post-test and assess measuring up against the pre-test results. Discussing pre-test results with students is a starting point for discussing the learning of the course content and the assessment(s) - and how the students best meet the course requirements.  

What do I as a teacher want to know about the students at the time they enter my course?

Relevant investigations in a pre-test may be:

  • Background knowledge and existing skills and competences, disciplinary/generic
  • Preconceptions about the course topics, right or wrong
  • Motivations and expectations.
  • Previous courses attended and other experiences in the field
  • Level of understanding of expected prerequisites.

Different types of assessment possible

  • Quantitative. E.g. questionnaires (web-based or on paper).
  • Qualitative. E.g. structured interviews of individuals/groups.
Note: One of the tasks in assignment 4 (Module 4) is to design and implement such a pre-test in a course.
6 JUNE 2020