Turning Undergrads into Independent Learners

College educators have often lamented the unintended influence of standardized testing on students’ thinking skills. In my discipline, English, freshman instructors note that the short reading passages appearing on tests have limited students’ ability to follow—or even finish reading—longer pieces. Worse, as NCTE has noted, the tests’ multiple choice format gives readers the impression that every text has one, and only one, definite meaning.