Monday, November 13, 2006

Home for a bit --

Today I'll give a quiz I should have given on Wednesday -- and they probably won't be any better than my other class.

Here is the problem -- and, it is so tricky it is more or less an interview question...

Of 31 quizzes, 17 were either perfect or nearly so, in that they either missed points on simple format issues or they missed one or two important lines of logic. These folks know what is going on and can do the proofs. They'll do fine and are likely to get good grades on the next quiz and the exam.

The other 14 were TERRIBLE. Out of 20 points, I think the highest score was 12.... 60%. They are making up logic or not doing anything at all on them. They aren't asking for help and most of them aren't coming to optional days either. Some of them have admitted to me that they aren't doing their homeowrk --- so, of course their quiz scores suck.

I KNOW the problems aren't too difficult, as they ALL came from their assigned homework problems and they had plenty of time to do them and ask questions... I'm a bit irritated by this -- it isn't like the ones who got perfect scores are just smarter or anything -- it is that the ones who failed didn't try and/or didn't ask questions or show up for class to get extra help. This puts us off the schedule and will make us rush to get caught-up or scale back the final... aaargh.

I'm in a quandry as to what to do about them... nearly half the class doing poorly is problematic to me. What I'm thinking about doing is the following...

Pairing them up -- good quizzers and bad quizzers and having them do an extra-credit quiz together. The ones that need the points will be eligible to earn points to bring that quiz up to a C+, the good quizzers will be able to earn a limited number of extra-credit points. I'm going to ask the bad quizzers to do the writing and ask them to return their last quiz to me as a verification of their handwriting :).

After that, I think I'm going to make Thursday a day the good quizzers don't come to and a day that the bad quizzers must come to....(or what... not sure --) that way it isn't really optional for the ones who need help. I should be able to get the extra-credit quiz graded by then and hopefully they'll be able to see the error of their ways. --- I might give them the same extra-credit problems to do on their own on Thursday and THEN return their quizzes with the good problems on them.


1 comment:

bungle said...

Your blog is aptly named: Philosophy Factory; it hints at the story of mass production, assembly lines etc.

Such an arrangement for an educational institute is fine I guess for matters under the heading of 'techne'(engineering and the like)... but for 'episteme', which is your line, a whole 'nother approach is necessary. The odds are stacked not in your favor, and that's not your fault.

Big huge gigantic kudos to you for any success you may have in that milieu.