Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It is advised to pay attention to the question.

This week we have for your special enjoyment: Exam Season!
I had just one exam to create this semester, which, believe me, takes Way longer to prepare than to take. And I am already relishing the next phase: Grading. It's always such a pleasure.
I didn't think this particular paper would be very difficult for the 1st year Master students to get through in the 2 hours allowed, but a third of the class dragged their feet writing for five minutes past the Time! announcement. Put your pens down! NOW! We mean it! I practically had to wrest the papers away from a few people.
One student, however, was long gone. After just an hour and 40 she wrapped up her things and handed in her exam. Sure you don't want to stick around and think about it? No? Well, up to you. Have a good rest of the day.
Just for something to do, I looked over her response to the first point. On the question sheet I had written 'Figure 1A presents five malignant cell lines...etc, etc.... What result might you expect from normal cells?'
My student's response started out by saying that there were two malignant cell lines and three normals, and that they were all the same.
I figured I could wait to read the rest.
I want them to get all A's. I really do.


EastwoodDC said...

Ah, spring exams. I recall one where the professor had to pry the papers out of our hands 2 hours after the allotted 2 hours was up. No one left early.

Barry said...

My wife is a teacher and it was an amazing discovery for her to learn that teaching is much harder than learning.

She felt like sending letter of apology to all her teachers from Kindergarten to University!

sciencegirl said...

Sometimes you can really see when it's the exam that's 'off', not the students, Dan! Among my first three, one was way too hard, one way too easy, and one serendipitously right.
This is my fourth time around for my now regular classes, and I'm still learning. Some day I hope not to make a fool of myself (just lucky the students don't unmask me).

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

It takes a really special person to teach in a way that can be understood and utilized. Bravo for you sciencegirl.........I'm sure you're a spectacular teacher and one that I would have enjoyed in University.
I must say though.........I was terrified that you'd pick something like osmosis for "Friday Shoot-Out's, lol.
Your blog is a place to always learn and have a smile while doing do. Have a great day and......

Steady On
Reggie Girl

sciencegirl said...

I would never make you do osmosis calculations, Reggie. That would just be too mean. Especially since I don't have a clue how to perform such a calculation myself. I used to know, but forgot about 28 seconds after that final exam, never to be bothered by two liquids separated by a semi-permeable membrane again. At least, not in a concious way.