So the situation is this. I created a 3-question, take-home, open-book exam. Students received the questions 2 weeks in advance of the deadline and had a "review session" during which they had a chance to ask questions. The exam questions were (read: should have been) no surprise, as they were directly related to the objectives of the lessons from that unit.
So when I read the answers I was confused/frustrated/demoralized/enraged. Don't get me wrong, many students did very well, and the average (both mean and median, with the mode being somewhat higher) was a B-. Totally acceptable. But still - I thought this should be easy! Everyone save one student has consistently been in class! We covered all of the material - some of it twice (in class and in readings)! They had all of the answers at their fingertips! Didn't they?
Well, I considered, especially for the final question on the exam, whether or not I'd actually covered the material sufficiently. But looking back over my lesson plans, which I habitually stick to, I made sure to do in-class assessments, group work, discussion, etc. based on this material. When all was said and done, they should have known it backwards and forwards, inside and out. And yet...
I've had this sneaking suspicion for the past week or so that I have not been doing a very good job of making sure everyone is participating/contributing equally in class. Although everyone "seems" to be following along, I realized last week that there is really a core group of students who do most of the talking. (Sound familiar to anyone?) Not surprisingly, I suppose, these were the students who did fairly well on the exam.
So I guess my job now is to find some ways to get the quieter students to actively take part in class and then report back to you as to how it all worked out.
How will I do this? Stay tuned...
(Picture credit to quinn.anya)