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Midterms – How to cope… Responding to Students


Noticed that this was the monthly theme, so figured I’d write about it for my first blog on this site.

To be honest, I am not really sure exactly what the theme means. Perhaps it is in reference to the pressure on the Professor to give the exam and to write it up, and everything else that goes with it, so I will write about that.

I personally don’t only have a midterm and final. I give three exams throughout the semester and they are not cumulative. However, there is some carry over and of course that is fair game on any exam, as long as the exam covers it. The split up over the course of the semester, and the noncumulative aspect of the exam, I thin makes the exam easier to create, because you can better test the vast material you are covering. I also, began this semester giving weekly quizzes so the students know what they need to be prepared for on the exam. My hope with this is that the students will do better on the exam, making it easier for me to grade as well.

Another aspect of midterms is of course answering student’s questions, usually via email. I’ve had where students wait until the last minute to answer their questions and/or ask all their questions at once. In addition, I post old exams, and I’ll get students who just want the answers. I make it very clear, that to receive answers to any questions, I need to see work first, and it needs to be a clear organized question. They should be questions clarifying thing that they don’t understand, or checking a problem they aren’t sure they did correctly, not questions asking me to reteach material I spent entire class sessions on.

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