Monday, January 31, 2011

Geez, and I thought it was a good test

Wrote a test for the non-majors course that I thought was thorough and appropriate. Looked good when the first students turned it in at 35 minutes and the last at 50 minutes. Class average? 60.8% I even had a 25% (on a 4 answer multiple choice). High score? 84.

I need to adjust (curve, throw out questions) before handing them back so I don't crush their curiosity. Right?


  1. Well, it depends how the students had been doing in class. Once, I had a class that were a bunch of slackers. I designed a test where the good ones would do good, and the bad ones would fail miserably. I had 20 students. 10 of them got between 72% and 98%. Average of the class? A 68. I didn't change a single thing, I remarked the math, and told them that it proved that if you studied regularly for my class, you would do good. It was a class for majors and minors, if it changes something.

  2. Let them write out the correct answers and the reason for them on the questions they missed for half credit. That makes it a good learning experience, you don't have to grade much (just check it to make sure it's right), and grades improve.

  3. In the past I have posted the top questions missed and made it an online quiz that they could take open book -- they could earn back a certain fraction for each question to up their grade. Everyone had the same opportunity to earn points to add to their exam grade. I like this sort of thing better than just adjusting the scores. I think it helps them to learn the material.