Tuesday, April 25, 2006

testing 1, 2, 3...

My students had their first exam recently.

Certain aspects of the whole thing could have been handled much better. Such as the procedure for turning in the exams. It wound up being a flurry of people at the front of the room. I went on autopilot: check to make sure they bubbled the correct exam form (four separate tests), names on both sheets, TA's name on both sheets, go! Repeat. Repeat. 450 students and probably...six people collecting exams. Madness. Next time I think they should get a box or two and if they screw up filling out the forms they lose points.

I thought we'd be grading the exams for our own students, but no, that would be biased. So we alphabatized the whole stack (oh, that was fun) and then randomly picked a letter and started. One short answer, one "draw this figure". The figure was much easier to grade. Hardly anyone got full points on the short answer. The whole process was rather depressing. Most of them got around 11 or 12 points out of fifteen. There were a few zeros. Ouch. There were also a few perfect scores.

I have to hand back the written portion today. I'm not sure if there will be rioting in the streets or if they'll think the grading was fair. The re-grade policy is pretty strict. We were all grading in the same room, and any ambiguity was dealt with as a group. I may have been a tad more lenient than some of the other graders, but only by a point or two.

Next week I get to write up their lab midterm myself. Thankfully there are examples in our prep area.


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