Monday, November 30, 2015

Now that's a kick in the assessment

It's probably a bad idea to write a final exam on a day when half of my students skipped class.

I'm sure they all had really good reasons for skipping class today. I'm sure the fact that today is the first day back after Thanksgiving break and the first day of deer-hunting season has nothing to do with their absence. I should give them the benefit of the doubt. 

Or else I should give them the benefit of my twisted ability to produce absolutely brutal final exam questions that they can't possibly answer if they skipped today's class. Or would that be too--I don't know--medieval?

No, medieval would involve thumb-screws or exam papers suffused with plague virus. I'm just tempted to toss some puppy treats to the students who actually showed up while leaving the class-skippers out in the cold. 

But wait: an exam's purpose should be neither to punish nor to reward but to assess student learning. Or so I'm told. And I suppose I believe it most days.

But on a day when half of my students skipped class? I'd like to give them all a good sharp kick right in the assessment.


Contingent Cassandra said...

Make the "treat" an extra-credit question. I'm not generally a fan of extra credit, but this seems like a good time/way to exercise the option. No harm to the students who skipped if they've been otherwise responsible and are able to answer all of the regular questions well, and no major benefit (but a little nod) to those who showed up today if they're in the same position, but just a bit of help for those who showed up today but may have missed something some other time.

Laura said...

I like that!