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Saturday, October 15, 2011

notes on the field tests with physics

pete gave the first midterm. the mean was about 63, which he says is historically higher than in the past. but he did an amazing thing right after it was graded... and maybe ...he does this every time, i don't know. He sent a message to the students, telling them the class average and invited them to pick up their exams and redo it over the weekend for 25% of the score of the exam (75% was in-class score).  I was amazed by this because it is so focused on the students' and their need to learn, to demonstrate the learning through earning a higher grade.

one of his observations was that this performance is higher than the historical average!

he has almost entirely shifted to group learning.  he discovered that his lecturing was preventing the very thing that he wanted: stronger classroom relationships, where peers were functioning as thought partners.  Now, they'd rather work with one another than listen and watch him do problems.

but i have to say that pete is an entertaining showman around demonstrations!

what is amazing about the on-line tools is that we can get immediate feedback on the students' behavior around the homework.  For example, we can see when people are investing time.  What this shows is that half the class did not invest in the homework:

We can look at trends, to see whether there are increased or decreased investment in the work. So we can use this information to adust the assignments.

We've attempted to make this public to the class and the students have said that they really appreciate the care that is going in to meeting their learning needs.

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