how can these kids get through a complicated video game but can't follow the instructions on a test? the answer is rich and meaningful feedback. instructions don't give feedback.
I wrote about rich feedback in video games as learning environments here: earth defense force
But what about the feedback we teachers aren't even aware we are giving? Clever Hans effect
I wonder if sometimes when a teacher notices "they are fine in class, but can't do it on the test!" they are actually seeing a student responding to unconscious feedback in class, but lacking feedback on the test. Then again, if a student can give the appearance of understanding a topic in class by responding to unconscious feedback from a teacher, maybe I'm measuring understanding the wrong way.