Students are given a test completed by fictitious student to identify mistakes and describe how they would approach or solve the problem.
This activity promotes a growth mindset by normalizing mistakes and encouraging students to focus on their own understanding, instead of just getting the correct answer.
- Give students a test completed by a fictitious student who did not do very well.
- Ask your students to correct the fictitious student’s test. Students should:
- Identify mistakes the fictitious student made.
- Explain each mistake, the conceptual idea relevant to each mistake, and how they themselves would approach or solve the problem.
- Identify what the fictitious student understood well.
- Evaluate students in terms of how many mistakes they identify and how well they explain the mistakes and underlying conceptual ideas. Use this exercise instead of a traditional test. It truly taps students’ understanding. Try it 2-3 times to help students get the hang of it. Remind students that when they get their own tests and homework back they should do the same thing - look for and learn from mistakes.
Subjects: Math, English / Lit., Science, Social Studies, Other
Time of year: Anytime
Class period: Anytime