My logic class took their first hard quiz yesterday.
I was nervous, especially for my morning class, as they have been pretty non-responsive as we worked problems in class. They've also been late and generally unprepared for class.
As of Tuesday, many said "I don't get it" -- about the general idea of completing a logical proof. Many more said "I understand what you do on the board, but I can't do it myself"....
My later class was a bit better, but there were still many students who didn't get it.
I could tell something was up when they turned in their quizzes...
everyone was smiling at me, and happy. The last student in my afternoon class wanted me to look at her quiz right away... she was nervous because she thought it was going to be harder. This is the last class she has to do to graduate. She'd already tried logic once, but withdrew because she was failing. She's getting incredible pressure from her mother -- she also has a good incentive. If she gets a B in logic, her mom will take her to Italy for a graduation present.
I figured they were either delirious, deceiving themselves, or they actually got it.
After grading the quizzes, I can conclude that they got it.
Almost all of them got As -- nobody failed.
We did have a few Ds, but they were really 65-69% D's...
Setting aside the uber-class I taught at the Air Force base in Red state -- I've never given a quiz that nobody has failed.
I don't think this is because I'm some kind of uber-teacher or anything. For one thing, the several students who were likely to fail the quiz didn't come to take it -- perhaps because I gave it the day after Halloween??
I do think it is because of the syllabus structure, which lets them figure out how to be logic students before they have to start learning to do proofs. It also lets them figure out that I'm not kidding when I say they have to do the homework at some point...(many of them do it after class discussion... which is ok with me, I suppose).
I also think that our embedded tutor program is working. Having the tutor come to class and the two of us being proactive about identifying students who are likely to have problems early, and getting them help early has helped. Add to that the fact that my tutors are awesome -- and I may have a situation in which my students actually learn...