I teach Pre-Calculus at a public high school in the United States. This school year, I allowed my students to retake any assessment regardless of how they performed on their first attempt. However, recognizing that I should focus on preparing my students for college, I want to be less care-free about retakes for next school year. To my knowledge, students are usually prohibited from retaking assessments in college (but feel free to provide evidence that says otherwise. It might depend on the professor...).
Because I want my students to learn the course content, I still want to allow retakes. If a student is confident that they can perform better on an assessment and is willing to work hard to make that happen, then I don't see the harm in allowing them to retake it. I usually put questions on the retake that are similar to those on the original assessment.
What I have noticed this year is students waiting until the end of the marking period to retake assessments after it has been weeks or even months since the original assessment was given. The significant amount of time between interacting with the material has led to some students performing worse on the retake.
I have some ideas on how to improve my retake policy to ensure that my students are more prepared:
Giving students a deadline for retakes so that they are forced to do the retake sooner and be more likely to remember the required concepts. (However I have a hard time enforcing these kinds of deadlines because inevitably, students are busy with other school-related activities and need more time to prepare for the retake. Then again, I could simply lie about the deadline just to avoid students procrastinating and deal with the handful of students who need more time.)
Not allowing a student to retake an assessment until they have turned in all of their missing homework assignments leading up to the assessment. This is intended to ensure that the student has practiced sufficiently and it also teaches them the value of doing the homework assignments to prepare for assessments. Alternatively, I could assign problems from the textbook and allow the student to retake the assessment after completing and reflecting on the approaches required to solve the problems.
Require that a student who wants to do a retake meets with me after school for a short review session. I think it would also be a good idea to give a short 1-2 question assessment afterwards so they can see if they are ready for the retake or not.
Similar to #3, hold one or more group study-sessions after school focusing on preparing for the retake of a certain assessment. I would walk the students through the solutions to the problems on the original version of the assessment, disclose common mistakes that I observed while grading, and allow students to ask questions.
Has anyone tried anything similar to the ideas mentioned above? Based on your experience, what do you recommend?