Regarding test

Test should be more a test of the person who gives the test: how do you evaluate the person in front of you. Ask what he likes and what he has the most experiences in, ask him to describe it to you, evaluate his language skill, communication skill, critical thinking in the process. Don’t create any test that the candidate needs to spend extra time to prepare. The candidate only needs to do one thing and that is building up his portfolio. The person who evaluates should have the skills to get into details into any field, and know how to ask questions. So the test is more a test of the person who gives the test. With current testing, we saw too many crappy test givers and too many talented people suffering from those crappy tests. Repeat again: they should not spend any extra time just for the test. They only need to do well at what they are doing. Maybe they need to do some reflection and summarize their experiences. But we have tools to make that the ongoing process along the way. So they don’t have to do that particularly just for the test.

I still remember when I was taking a learning theory and technology course from a famous education school professor. When he discussed about test, I said plainly that I don’t like test. When asked why, I said it can never really test people’s understanding of the knowledge, and it wastes people’s time in doing the real thing. Instead, people can be evaluated just by what they have done and people should be given chances to try things.

I interview people and I hire them. I know the test is more a challenge to the test giver than the candidate. The candidate only needs to express themselves well. And expressing oneself well is the basic skill of anyone or anything who wants to play with others. As the person who evaluates, I need to look into their blogs, twitters, github and so on. I need to have a broad interest and have the knowledge to get into any field and need to know how to ask various questions, and is able to tell what I need to know, for example critical thinking ability, analytic skills, broad interests in tech or in life, design skills… Which college s/he goes to and the GPA? Doesn’t matter.

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