Testing with a Tarsia Twist
The Tarsia programme is a free download that enables the user to make a kinaesthetic test in which students can match up correct pairs of facts or questions with answers. The maker has control of the difficulty of the test to be generated, and there is a choice of format – triangular or rectangular jigsaw, or dominoes. Once the initial download is complete and the program is installed, there are three steps for the teacher to build a Tarsia test – input the pairs of terms or questions / answers, print the generated test, cut out the pieces! The pieces are then shuffled and distributed to the students who use their knowledge or creative skills to reassemble the pieces in the correct order. Tarsia tests work well for cooperative groups of two or three students who can discuss strategies and answers; teacher may need to do a little prompting here and there. They are very useful as a formative assessment tool, and being reusable they can be stored and retrieved at revision time. In science they are ideal for topics that need structure matched with function or location, or for matching key terms with their definitions. Pictured here is a completed Tarsia for checking students’ knowledge of microscopes.