Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hitting a New Low

I just graded the lab exam I gave today. Let me start by saying that I do not make the exams (I've probably told you that countless times, and if I have, I'm sorry). I wish I did, but for lab, the individual lab instructors are not allowed to write the questions. Instead, one full-time faculty member makes the exam that everyone is to give to the students.

But I've been teaching at this place long enough to give hints of what is to come when I teach. Yes, you heard me, I almost teach to the test. But not quite. Because sometimes, like today, the exam can surprise you. However, even though some of the questions were surprising, I did go over the material at the appropriate lab time--all the material.

It was apparent from the exam scores that the students did not have one single clue of what to do with all that material, for the average grade on this second lab exam was a whopping 51.83%. Yep, it was that low. Furthermore, the students couldn't even use what they might know from another class to answer the question. Case in point? Someone asked me what an antagonistic muscle was. I couldn't tell her, since she was supposed to know that definition as well as how we discussed it in class. Had she remembered what she learned in high school, in English class, she would have been able to at least narrow down the answers to the question on the exam.

So what to do? I have a mind to go in next week and ask them what happened. Find out if they've finally pulled their heads out of their asses (pardon my French) and if they plan on doing any studying for the last exam. But I'll get fired if I do that in the way that I want to. On second thought, I'm not sure I want to do this for the long haul anymore, so maybe getting fired wouldn't be that bad.

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