Reflection on Building a Mystery Project

What can be Done to Reduce Test Anxiety?

I chose to research test anxiety for several reasons. First, because I can relate to students that suffer from test anxiety because I have experienced it myself and secondly because I am going to be a teacher so I want to help my students. Although I am not a big fan of testing, I am a realist and understand that testing and high stakes testing is a reality in our culture. When students are overly anxious about testing they are more likely to do poor on high stakes tests. Anything I can do to help my students reduce their stress levels so that test results yield an accurate assessment of their abilities is an important aspect of being a teacher.

While hunting and researching the topic of test anxiety I found information from a variety of sources from educators and psychologists. Some of the information came from scholarly articles while other information was readily available through YouTube. The source that impressed me the greatest was the results of a psychological scientific experiment that measured the results of students being tested with and without having the students’ free-write regarding their anxiety for ten minutes prior to testing. The results revealed, scientifically, that writing reduces anxiety and improved the test score of students. The patterns of suggestions on how to help students deal with test anxiety were starting to reveal themselves and when I conducted my last interview with Cindy Nichols she confirmed my findings by mentioning the patterns I had been seeing.

I decided to use glogster.edu to assemble my project along with the edited video with Cindy Nichols. The technology used to create this assignment was all new to me. I have watched a friend edit a video before but this was the first time I have and I had just recently even heard of a glog! I am not happy with my final product but am unsure if I will have time to do the revisions I would like to in order to make a polished product. The number of hours I have into this project are staggering, mostly to my lack of skill working with new literacy forms and technology. But I am always interested in trying out new ways of self-expression and communication via new literacy formats.

In the future I would like to piece existing YouTube videos and the video footage of the interview into one video that makes a clear point of what I intended to share. I wanted to point out that high stakes testing is here to stay and test anxiety reduces test scores so we all need to educate ourselves on how to deal with test anxiety. The pattern of advice to reduce anxiety is to 1) be prepared 2) use meditation and visualizing or self-talk to prepare psychologically 3) be physically prepared 4) writing is thinking, pre-writing can reduce stress and get your brain mentally prepared for the work ahead

This research assignment was closer to real world life experiences because I got to research something that I am genuinely interested in learning more about. I will continue to expand my understanding of this topic throughout my lifetime. Although we are approaching the end of the semester (at break neck speed) I am still interested in learning more about my research question, What can be done to reduce test anxiety?

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