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exams (rant)

Monique Reed monique at mail.bio.tamu.edu
Fri Mar 3 16:38:36 EST 2000

Ever give an exam that gives the students every opportunity to show
what they know, that includes examples you have gone over in class,
that covers just what the syllabus says it will, that you have you
talked about with great skill and enthusiasm, that reinforces what
they are doing in the lab---and they all still fail?

We have done everything we can think of to make the material
interesting, to have live material (botany class) and not just pickled
or dry stuff, to back up lectures with web-based materials, to have
lab and lecture impart non-conflicting information, to be available
for outside-class help, and to encourage them to think, compare,
theorize, etc.  This semester, nothing seems to have worked.

I have just marked the biggest pile of incompletely-memorized facts,
poorly-understood theories, fuzzy thinking, bad spelling, and
atrocious handwriting yet.  We know we're teaching, but I have no idea
what the students think they're doing.  It's certainly not reading the
text or studying...

Monique Reed
Texas A&M

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