Day 178: Physics Exam!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Pre-exam relaxation technique: whole class selfie!

Pre-exam relaxation technique: whole class selfie!

All of my students took their physics exam today. I was on duty moving from room to room to answer questions. As is my habit, the kids took their exam on Moodle AND showed their work on paper.

If there’s one thing my kids learned this year, it was how to explain why their answer was marked incorrect by Moodle, a useful skill I think. There were plenty of instances of kids transposing two numbers or fat-fingering keys on their calculators. I was merciful on them (plus — they found the error rather than making me hunt for it!) in these instances.

During the exam, one young woman asked me which direction she should assume is positive, up or down. I told her that so long as she said that on her paper she’d get full credit for a correct solution. She went ahead and assumed the down direction was positive y (+y down), where Moodle assumed the opposite. Moodle initially marked her wrong. Here’s what I found on her paper when reviewing it. (Because the work is in pencil, I can tell she did it before submitting the test and knowing her answer was considered wrong by Moodle.)


I ❤ when students make their assumptions clear when showing work.


Sure, a pencil and paper test avoids this “problem” because the grader is a human capable of intelligent thought. My goal with Moodle is to bring the granularity of a pencil and paper test to the computer, because immediate feedback is so powerful.

Here’s another example of student work on the exam.


This kid got a multiple choice question wrong. He added this correction at the end of his test explaining his original thinking and his revised thinking. I granted 1/4 credit for this correction.


Today marks the end of my 180 blogging experiment. I have additional reflection for another time but want to share that the hardest part was remembering to take a picture of whatever we did in class. The best part was forcing myself to reflect on every day (pretty much) as it happened.


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