Field of Science


Please understand this.  Nobody, nobody dislikes exams more than faculty.  The reason is simple.  Exams are a huge pain to evaluate fairly, and the results can be so discouraging.  You have to be quite careful to evaluate student work in a non-biased way.  You don't want who the person is to matter.  And you want the evaluation of each item to be independent of all the rest of the items.  TPP does this by folding the name out of sight and evaluating each question as a class set.  First, based upon the material covered in lecture, lab, and their textbook, a decision is made about what a good answer should include, so, for example, you might decide that the correct species name is worth 4 of the 10 points.  Then several responses are read to see if any of them approach the ideal response, and if at least one does, then the rest are evaluated coming back to the first ones read last.  Then on to the next question.  You do understand that this is not a multiple guess exam where the student simply tries to recognize or guess (1 out of 4 or 5) the correct response.  It's blank paper.  This way TPP has no idea how someone is doing until the very end when the points are totalled up.  Sometimes it seems things are going badly, like this 1st exam just recently graded, but the average grade was 75.5, one-half point above the B-C border line.  However as always it's the extremes that make you very happy or very sad. People who score more than 20 points above or below this average are either doing great or very poorly.  Sometimes the reasons are clear.  One student with an attendance record of almost exactly 50% got exactly 50% on the exam, which seems a very symmetrical result.  No you can't have any extra credit until you take advantage of all the opportunities offered already.  Scheesh!  What fun.  Not.

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