Nine complete first week of Cito’s Test Construction course

POSTED: 08/11/11 11:55 AM

St. Maarten – Nine trainers have completed the first in a five-week Test Construction Course administered by assessment institute Cito. The body is responsible for the final exams of Dutch primary schools and the central exams in the PSVE, HAVO and VWO secondary school systems.

The Division of Exams of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs, in collaboration with SBO Service Center/DERPI started the trajectory in which teachers and experts on St. Martin will be educated to become trainers in Test Construction at secondary school level and screeners of the exams given at the SBO (Advanced Secondary Vocational Education) level.
Until now, expertise in this field had to be sought externally, but after five weeks of training spread out over August to February 2012 the island will have its own experts in test construction and test screening. The course is broken down into three full weeks of theory and two weeks of practical training exercises.

After the successful completion of the course, the Division of Exams may hire the experts on a freelance basis to train and coach teachers of the various secondary schools and SBO. Assessment is an integral part of teaching and it requires up to a third of a teachers’ professional time. Nevertheless, teachers often feel ill prepared to deal with its demands. Therefore, to upgrade and maintain their assessment skills, regular training and coaching is necessary.

The task of meticulously screening tests will for now only be applied to test plans and tests of SBO courses (e.g. Carpentry, Secretary, Chef). The Law on SBO education specifically stipulates that 50 percent plus one of all tests have to be checked externally. The training has been made possible through Dutch Development funds for Education.

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