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Changes in the way contemporary organizations conduct business demand a concurrent redesign of teaching and testing methods. Maintaining instructional quality must begin with knowledge of the quality revolution in contemporary organizations in order to meet the demands of these organizations for self-confident, self-directed, self-motivated, team-oriented, quality-sensitive, and customer-directed employees. Teachers must assure the complementary development of student interest, appreciation, pride of workmanship, and skills in learning, constant improvement, leadership, and collaboration. In a quality classroom, the teacher and students share responsibility for learning course content and for developing thinking, judgment, and interpersonal communication. Quality teachers envision and manage their classrooms as exemplary organizations, and minimize student fear and competitiveness. At Santa Fe Community College, in New Mexico, instructors have been teaching and testing students with an emphasis on principles of collaboration and continuous quality improvement (CQI). The CQI approach to objective testing begins with a class discussion of the demand for collaborative work in contemporary organizations, explains the linkages between collaborative learning and future employment opportunities, and evaluates students both on their individual and collaborative knowledge. After tests are taken by both individuals and teams, the instructor notes the most frequently misunderstood questions to identify the "significant few" learning points that need continued instruction. Data collected in a recent Business and Management course indicate that this quality testing approach delivers measurable improvement in student learning as defined by continuous improvement on unit tests. Student responses further substantiate the merit of quality teaching and learning processes. (AC)

Descriptors: Classroom Environment, Community Colleges, Cooperative Learning, Education Work Relationship, Educational Change, Educational Testing, Student Responsibility, Teacher Role, Teaching Methods, Total Quality Management, Two Year Colleges

Autor: Cooke, Brian P.


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