Postprint version. Published in Journal of Political Science Education, Volume 7, Issue 4, October 1, 2011, pages 416-433.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1080/15512169.2011.615195.
Professors seem to be more aware of different student learning styles than ever before and are utilizing various teaching techniques in order to appeal to different students in their classes. Unfortunately, presenting materials is only one side of the coin, while the other side—assessment—has not received the same amount of attention. After all, if teachers can agree that students have different methods for learning, does it not stand to reason that they have different methods of reproducing this knowledge as well? This article makes a case for more diverse assessment techniques within the same course, connecting our knowledge on individual learning styles to a theory of ‘‘testing styles.’’ By allowing students to choose between different formats for participation, exams, and other assignments, educators acknowledge students’ individual styles and allow them to show what they really know as opposed to how well they take tests. The author’s major claims are supported by the results of an experimental design that tests the connection between learning styles and students’ performances in different testing formats. The article also includes findings taken from a survey on students’ experiences with and hopes for different assessment techniques.
2011 Taylor & Francis.