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Frustrated – making students happy versus giving them what they deserve

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here and I had some extra time so might as well get out some frustration, right? I am currently teaching a 107 lecture course, which I am happy to be teaching, for the first time, and so much has gone wrong, ranging from broken projector to exams not being printed. The exams not being printed was obviously the worst of it as I had to make an on the spot decision of how to proceed. Thankfully, the projector was working that day and so I gave the exam from the projector. Unfortunately, this did not work out as planned, as students found it extremely difficult to take the exam off the projector. So, in the end, I gave them the full four hour class period to do the problem set and put the multiple choice up on Aplia. The scores on the exam however were still horrible, and to accommodate the possibility that this was mainly due to the printed exam issue, I have put in several accommodations, ranging from leniency in grading the exam, to weighting their lowest exam less, and allowing them some points back from correcting their mistakes. I am even possibly considering curving it at this point as had spoken to another professor and it seems that my exam, though doable by the typical undergrad student, was still difficulty for the typical undergrad student. Students are still not happy with the accommodations, and I feel like I’ve done all I can to accommodate the issues that may have gotten in the way of them performing well, and that just at some point your score is your score, and some students just can’t perform as well as others. I am hoping that the next exam goes better.

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