In order to get a profession a student needs to master a certain amount of knowledge which comprises knowledge of separate disciplines. A generally accepted competence building approach implies that a specialist should not only have knowledge and skills, but also be able to apply the acquired knowledge in practice, he or she should learn to find and use effectively the necessary information, be ready to solve tasks arising from the course of work.
With such approach to teaching students being implemented, it is necessary to intensify active forms of teaching. Introduction of active forms of teaching makes it necessary to change the prevalence of lectures and seminars and to increase the amount of students´ independent work under professors´ supervision. But the problem does not lies in the necessity to change the correlation of class hours and independent work in the academic plan, but in preparation of the necessary methodological provision that enables students to master certain parts of academic disciplines while doing individual tasks.
In recent years interactive and dialogue methods of giving lectures, solving cases and joint project have spread widely. One of the ways to intensification of students´ independent work is self-tests that checks academic material mastering.
In the Finance Academy under the Government of the Russian Federation there was established the Centre for testing within the frameworks of increase in quality of specialists training. One of its functions is to create a multipurpose system of knowledge testing and organization of students´ independent work. The Centre coordinates the work of the Academy´s departments in the development and accumulation of tests banks and carrying out different types of tests.
Effective use of testing in organization of students´ independent work means that there is a bank of tests for independent work on the taught disciplines. While planning classes, it is necessary to include both students´ self-training and self-testing on different parts and the whole discipline. Students should have an access to computers to carry out tests (or a network in distant learning).
In the Finance Academy most tests are created in ASR (Adaptive system of testing). Moreover, a multifunctional testing system created at the Faculty of Open Education is widely applied. It provides entrance, training and final control of various parts of disciplines through the Internet-training server. There are some other approaches to implementing tests in teaching process.
Testing technologies if used competently provides a good tool for measuring the level of knowledge from different viewpoints. Taking the changes in the system of higher education into account it is unadvisable to defy the advantages of testing technologies for intensification of teaching process. It goes without saying that the creation of high-quality banks of tests will demand considerable expenditures but their implementation will enable to diversify and increase the effectiveness of students´ independent work.
The work is submitted to III Scientific Conference "The Problems of International Integration of Educational Standards", Czechia (Prague) - Luxembourg - France (Paris), April, 20-27, 2008. Came to the editorial office on 19.08.2008.