Sometimes students struggle with their Membean assessments. This article reviews common causes for low assessment scores and provides recommendations to help students improve.
Training is the most important part of Membean. If a student does not have good training habits, they may struggle with their assessments. Begin your investigation by examining the student's training habits:
- Is the student training regularly?
- Is the student's accuracy at least 65%?
- Is the student spending enough time reviewing their restudy words?
If the answer to any of these questions is "no," then addressing the training issue will likely address the assessment issue. You should continue to investigate the other causes of poor assessment scores, but the first step should be improving training habits and/or providing support through the student's training preferences.
Too Little Time Spent on Assessment
Students frequently speed through their Membean assessments. Some students can get away with this rapid test-taking, but many cannot. When a student struggles, check to see how much time they spent on the assessment by viewing the student's quiz. You can see how much time was allowed by hovering over the time they took to complete the assessment.
When a student moves this quickly through an assessment, it's easy for them to choose the wrong answer. Membean quizzes are written to truly test a student's depth of understanding, so several answers may have key words that relate to the question but are not correct. If the student is using a small fraction of the allotted time, recommend that they slow down and review their answers before submitting the assessment.
The SATA struggle is real. Some students have a very difficult time with SATA questions. Check to see if a student is struggling specifically with SATA questions by checking a few recent assessments. This will allow you to see if they miss a disproportionate number of them.
If a student is struggling with SATA questions, here are some strategies to share:
- Make sure you understand what the question is asking or telling you to look for.
- Treat each option as its own yes/no or true/false question.
- Individually go over each option as opposed to reading them all first.
- Don't compare options - you must make a separate decision about each answer.
- Know that these questions types take much longer than MC questions.
- Review SATA questions that you miss. Struggling with and getting questions incorrect is a good thing for your long-term memory. Reviewing them will help you on your next assessment.
Students can get a little too IKT-happy sometimes, and this can have repercussions even after they stop abusing the feature. When a student marks a word as IKT, that word is automatically fair game for assessments. If you notice a student is skipping many words during training and performing poorly on assessments, their IKT use is likely the cause of their low scores. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to know which words on an assessment were marked IKT.
Treating Training Like Test Taking
Some students use test taking strategies such as the process of elimination to answer questions during training when they don't really know the answer. If a student has fairly high accuracy but struggles with assessments, they may fall into this category.
Training should be treated like a learning playground, not like a test. If they can figure out the answer to the question but they don't actually remember the word well, they should select "I'm Not Sure." This gives them the opportunity to restudy the word. It will lower their training accuracy, but it will increase their understanding of their words. It will also keep words that aren't truly strong from appearing on their assessments. This will be very difficult for some high achieving students, but it is also a wonderful opportunity to shift their attitudes about what it means to learn.