Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Exam Day #1

I'm about ready to head to bed, tomorrow is a test filled day: my students are taking both their lecture and lab exams, and I have a mystery test of my own to take in my evolution class.

First, the mystery test. I have no idea what to expect, other than maybe some questions about evolution and phylogenies, which really doesn't narrow the field down. The professor was sort of flippant about what he was going to ask us and he said "don't study". I don't know what that's supposed to mean, but I didn't study. If I have time tomorrow (fat chance) I'll flip through my vague notes. I did the posted reading for tomorrow, maybe the test is on that?

I'm going in at 7:30am to set up my students' lab exam. It's a combination of lab stations for them to answer questions about, as well as three essays. I think I made it fairly easy; then again, I thought my quizzes were easy all semester and that didn't always turn out so well. If I get in to work as planned, I'll have about 45 minutes to an hour to set up. I don't think it will take that long. I basically need to place questions and objects around the room, and then let them have at it. Then I get to come in for my evening section and do it all over again! It won't be exactly the same test, I'm not that naive.

The lecture exam is also today, which frankly, my students should worry about more than my little test. I hate proctoring tests, it makes me nervous watching people squirm in their seats. However, in some weird twisted way, I love making exams. There's something oddly gratifying about coming up with a perfect question, one that is comprehensive and really tests to see if they know what's going on. The preset guidelines I was given for my lab exam prevented me from making such a test this semester, so I'm kind of "meh" about its quality. Last semester I put together a final that 1) actually tested to see if they learned anything and 2) was ridiculously easy to grade. As far as I'm concerned, those are the two most important elements to an exam.

Once tomorrow is over, I have until Tuesday to finish all my grading. I also have another test (in GIS) to take on Wed. For that test I know what to expect, because the instructor isn't trying to trick us. It's going to be a pain trying to grade and study at the same time, but that's sort of been my problem all semester.

Countdown till I'm done-done: 7 days

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