How would you have graded this simple test?

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  • LarryG
    The Full Monte
    • May 2004
    • 6693
    • Off The Back
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    #46
    Originally posted by cgallery
    Would you ask (at at least hope) for a warning instead of a ticket?

    And if you received a warning, would the lesson of exceeding the speed limit have been lost on you?
    Good questions. Fair questions. I expect you already know what my answers are.

    Of course I would ask for a warning. And no, the lesson would not be lost on me if I did get off with only a warning. But I'd definitely remember the "lesson" a lot more vividly if I had to open up my checkbook.
    Larry

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    • twistsol
      Veteran Member
      • Dec 2002
      • 2912
      • Cottage Grove, MN, USA.
      • Ridgid R4512, 2x ShopSmith Mark V 520, 1951 Shopsmith 10ER

      #47
      Originally posted by LCHIEN
      IN college (and granted college is a long way from elementary) the professor explained to me, bridges fall, planes crash. Wrong for whatever reason doesn't bring those lives back. (e.g. there was no partial credit for a good intention.)
      College physics flashback. I wrote m/s on an intermediate step in a problem rather than m/s squared. The exam had four questions, I got 75% on the exam. Dr. Tsang told me in a heavy Japanese accent "You build a bridge, the bridge fall down, you get not partial credit." I got 100% on every subsequent exam.

      The hard lessons are the ones that stick with you the longest. Around the same time our schools graded with O for outstanding, S for satisfactory, and U for unsatisfactory because someone felt that an F was too harsh. We all knew what an F was for and what a U meant as well.

      On to your revised question, yes, the teacher should have added a see me or something to make sure you properly understood the concepts, but with the exception of the one answer marked incorrectly, the grade was fair.
      Chr's
      __________
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      A moral man does it.

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      • Alex Franke
        Veteran Member
        • Feb 2007
        • 2641
        • Chapel Hill, NC
        • Ryobi BT3100

        #48
        Originally posted by jking
        I used "confusion about the concept" in a general sense. To me, if there's confusion about the symbols (even as simple as reversing them), there is confusion that needs to be corrected. Perhaps my wording isn't as accurate as it could be.
        Oh, I see. Yes, I agree that there is confusion that needs to be corrected. We agree on this.

        Originally posted by jking
        The grade level was part of my point about the music analogy. The analogy is out of place because because of the level of the students involved. Understanding the difference between keys seems like a different level of education that the math question posed.
        It was hard to come up with another example that illustrated the concept/symbolism argument. But in any case, I do think kids at that age can understand keys. Music is strange in the sense that it's pretty easy to tell if you have the melody right (regardless of key), but like Loring's example of the trio, it's also pretty easy to tell if you have the key right if it's in context.

        Originally posted by jking
        It sounds to me like your question really has two parts. Was the test graded fairly? Assuming no malice of the teacher, yes, it was. The answers were wrong & marked as wrong. Could the teacher have handled it differently? Yes, absolutely. The teacher could have recognized the pattern & given you another chance to answer the questions.
        I agree, but I would change "graded fairly" to "graded accurately" or "graded equitably." Grading it differently would not be accurate or equitable with respect to the other students (like LarryG's "fair test" example), but I think handling it differently would have been the more fair approach.

        Originally posted by jking
        At what point does the child get a second chance? The teacher has to us judgement here & may likely err on the side of being "mean" to avoid the appearance of favoritism.
        I think this is an excellent point. It's sad, in a way, but I think it's absolutely true.
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        • LCHIEN
          Internet Fact Checker
          • Dec 2002
          • 21101
          • Katy, TX, USA.
          • BT3000 vintage 1999

          #49
          BTW, the choice of symbols for G.T. and L.T is surely just as arbitrary as the choice of 2 for Two and 3 for THree, and just as important.
          If you had consistently done 2+2 = 6 and 3+3 =4 getting your 2 and 3 reversed, do you think you would have deserved a partial credit or some recognition?
          Loring in Katy, TX USA
          If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
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          • Alex Franke
            Veteran Member
            • Feb 2007
            • 2641
            • Chapel Hill, NC
            • Ryobi BT3100

            #50
            Here's an interesting angle for those of you who would record the "U" grade.

            Would it ever be fair to grade this differently?

            It seems like if most students got it consistently wrong (indicating a teaching error), then maybe a retest would be appropriate at this level. (In college, I had a prof that made a clear error in lecture notes, and that error appeared on many exams. Students that made the error did not get credit restored because they "should have concluded" that the prof was wrong.)

            Or what if the kid was dyslexic? Or maybe he missed class on that day and all the kids got together and convinced him that it was the other way around?

            What if came out that (obviously purely hypothetically) that the kid came from some obscure culture where the symbols were actually reversed? (The head nod comes to mind -- in northern Greece what looks like "yes" actually means "no.")

            Is there any hypothetical case where it should be not-so-black-and-white?
            online at http://www.theFrankes.com
            while ( !( succeed = try() ) ) ;
            "Life is short, Art long, Occasion sudden and dangerous, Experience deceitful, and Judgment difficult." -Hippocrates

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            • phrog
              Veteran Member
              • Jul 2005
              • 1796
              • Chattanooga, TN, USA.

              #51
              Seems to me like there was too much emphasis on one concept. If the idea was to test the student's comprehension of the concept, one or two questions (or maybe 3 at the most) regarding the concept should have sufficed to inform the teacher whether the student "got it." By asking the same question over and over (only using different numbers) the grade got skewed against the student's overall math comprehension. (Obviously, he understood addition and subtraction.) I don't fault the teacher for the grade given but do think the teacher designed a "bad" test.
              Richard
              Last edited by phrog; 01-27-2010, 07:19 PM.
              Richard

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              • sailor55330
                Established Member
                • Jan 2010
                • 494

                #52
                Here's my two cents, which will probably be very unpopular here.

                1. The marjority of the items were wrong. Therefore the student should fail. The teacher designed the test to give the student the opportunity to demonstrate the CORRECT understanding of a mathematical symbol and it's correct use. The student did not do this.


                2. There is a consistency with the answers. The student seems to have a grasp of the value of numbers, but perhaps not a grasp of the proper use of symbols. A simple verbal test would help to eliminate that. Ask the child which number is bigger and then ask them to express that on the board with the symbols. That could help to determine if the child has a grasp on concept.

                3. The "u" vs. A,B,C, etc. I dont' care what designation they use to classify a grade as long as it is understood and practiced among all students. If the student doesn't understand the importance and classifications system, then there is no point of grading in my book.


                I probably seem like a bad guy for this, but I am tired of everyone being treated the same and pushed through the system. Not everyone can win, not everyone can get an "a" not everyone has to be right all the time. The teacher is responsible for teaching, but the student is responsible for learning. If everyone in the class made these mistakes, then the teacher didn't do their job, if the majority did not make these mistakes then at least part of the responsibility lies with the student. However, if the teacher sees this, then hopefully they will address with the student--That would be the best thing.

                I don't ever remember getting any sympathy grades for math. Basic math at this level is an objective study, not a subjective study. It is commonly understood and accepted that 2+2=4, 5-2=3, etc. Take out all the dyslexic, confused, troubled, stressed, professor error, or any other what-if scenarios and grade the test for what it is---a simple test in basic, accepted mathematics.

                Moving on now
                Last edited by sailor55330; 01-27-2010, 05:09 PM.

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                • Alex Franke
                  Veteran Member
                  • Feb 2007
                  • 2641
                  • Chapel Hill, NC
                  • Ryobi BT3100

                  #53
                  Originally posted by LCHIEN
                  BTW, the choice of symbols for G.T. and L.T is surely just as arbitrary as the choice of 2 for Two and 3 for THree, and just as important.
                  If you had consistently done 2+2 = 6 and 3+3 =4 getting your 2 and 3 reversed, do you think you would have deserved a partial credit or some recognition?
                  That's interesting. I agree about the arbitrariness of the symbols, but I think that getting opposite relational operators consistently wrong still shows an understanding of their use and the quantities they operate on. So I think "no" on the number example -- the kid would need to go back and learn the numbers before learning the relational operators.

                  ...unless maybe it was discovered that the kid just came in from some obscure culture where "2" meant three and "3" meant two. If that came to light I'd probably set that straight and have then re-take the test.
                  online at http://www.theFrankes.com
                  while ( !( succeed = try() ) ) ;
                  "Life is short, Art long, Occasion sudden and dangerous, Experience deceitful, and Judgment difficult." -Hippocrates

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                  • Kristofor
                    Veteran Member
                    • Jul 2004
                    • 1331
                    • Twin Cities, MN
                    • Jet JTAS10 Cabinet Saw

                    #54
                    Clearly the answers were wrong, marking them wrong was the correct thing to do.

                    Now for me, the issue comes in determining how this grade would play in your grade for the whole course. In most (maybe all?) of my elementary/junior/senior high classes the final grade was just a composite of all of the component grades (homework, quizes, papers, projects, tests, etc.).

                    In this case you clearly were on the right track and essentially made a single type of mistake repeatedly. If you subsequently had another test that covered this material and aced it I would see little reason to knock your final grade for a skill you had mastered by the end of the class. That is the way several college classes were handled (quizes/homework for assessment, but the grade was all about a couple big projects or and or a midterm/final exam).

                    At the same time, I see why it would be VERY hard for primary school teachers to grade with that flexibility. Instead of having 6 classes to worry about they would have 150 individuals to assess, and the issues of fairness and objectivity/subjectivity would be harder to deal with in that environment...

                    PS, I had Honors Physics profs at the U who took exactly the opposite approach for question design as Loring and Twistsol's. I received an A on a 2 hour exam with 19% of the possible points, I believe 3% was a C-... But this was on a crazy Rube Goldberg type question with all sorts of mechanics (massless, frictionless, inextensible, blah blah blah), but also including point charges moving in non-uniform electric and magnetic fields and the like. Poor test design IMO, but that type of approach does make sure you're religious about carrying the correct units of measure from step to step...

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                    • Alex Franke
                      Veteran Member
                      • Feb 2007
                      • 2641
                      • Chapel Hill, NC
                      • Ryobi BT3100

                      #55
                      Originally posted by sailor55330
                      Moving on now
                      Thanks for stopping by! No, not unpopular or "bad guy," but you've already moved on, so I guess you probably won't see this.
                      online at http://www.theFrankes.com
                      while ( !( succeed = try() ) ) ;
                      "Life is short, Art long, Occasion sudden and dangerous, Experience deceitful, and Judgment difficult." -Hippocrates

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                      • phi1l
                        Senior Member
                        • Oct 2009
                        • 681
                        • Madison, WI

                        #56
                        Originally posted by Alex Franke
                        I was probably thinking "greater than" as I was writing the "less than" symbol.
                        Well in that case I guess I would have agree with the U grade. Mathematics is a highly symbolic subject where precision is most important. By the time you get to studying inequalities, you are getting past the basic arithmetic & into the more symbolic concepts. So the meaning of the < & > signs, in this case is the point of the lesson.

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                        • Black wallnut
                          cycling to health
                          • Jan 2003
                          • 4715
                          • Ellensburg, Wa, USA.
                          • BT3k 1999

                          #57
                          Originally posted by phi1l
                          Well in that case I guess I would have agree with the U grade. Mathematics is a highly symbolic subject where precision is most important. By the time you get to studying inequalities, you are getting past the basic arithmetic & into the more symbolic concepts. So the meaning of the < & > signs, in this case is the point of the lesson.
                          Now for a bit of nit picking....... Alex wrote greater than and less than and yet you posted "< &>" while you should have posted ">&<" to not only prove that you know what he is saying but also to keep the cadence of the conversation.
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                          • Uncle Cracker
                            The Full Monte
                            • May 2007
                            • 7091
                            • Sunshine State
                            • BT3000

                            #58
                            I'm thinking you should've played the dyslexia card... The confusion of symbology is a bona fide medical concern, and should not have resulted in a failing grade...
                            Last edited by Uncle Cracker; 01-27-2010, 06:53 PM.

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                            • cgallery
                              Veteran Member
                              • Sep 2004
                              • 4503
                              • Milwaukee, WI
                              • BT3K

                              #59
                              TWO YEARS AGO, my now 13-YO's school had a drill to prepare teachers/students in the event that someone entered the school w/ a gun.

                              They prepared the students on a Monday by telling them about the drill.

                              My daughter was absent that day.

                              The next day, my daughter was in the restroom when the drill came. All that she was able to hear was a loudspeaker announcement that contained the words "gun" and "lockdown."

                              She was in a stall and ran to the classroom as fast as she could. The door was locked, the teacher would not let her in, and told her to "go hide somewhere" through the glass.

                              She ran to another classroom, same routine.

                              She ran back to the bathroom to hide. There was no lock on the door.

                              Remember, she is 13-YO now, 11 when this happened. She was under the impression that there was an armed gunman roaming the halls.

                              She was found ten minutes later, curled up in a ball. Completely traumatized, and couldn't stop crying.

                              Daughter asked for her parents. Staff (probably scared now) refused.

                              Traumatizing kids should not be a component of education.

                              And for a kid that never failed a test before, that made an obvious mistake w/ symbols, handing them a "U" without any further information could be (not saying it is, but it certainly could be) very traumatic.

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                              • cgallery
                                Veteran Member
                                • Sep 2004
                                • 4503
                                • Milwaukee, WI
                                • BT3K

                                #60
                                Originally posted by LarryG
                                Good questions. Fair questions. I expect you already know what my answers are.

                                Of course I would ask for a warning. And no, the lesson would not be lost on me if I did get off with only a warning. But I'd definitely remember the "lesson" a lot more vividly if I had to open up my checkbook.
                                Good.

                                So in which scenario would you learn more:

                                (1) Cop pulls you over, writes ticket for 1-MPH over the speed limit.

                                (2) Cop pulls you over, writes you a warning for 1-MPH over. Explains that there is a child that lives on the street with severe developmental problems, and when the child sees her grandparents (that live across the street) outside, she is inclined to dash across the street without regard for traffic.

                                In scenario #1, you've learned to avoid exceeding the speed limit, to avoid the wrath of the cop.

                                In scenario #2, you may find yourself going 15-MPH on that street, being careful to look for kids outside. You may avoid that street altogether in the future. You may tell other people about the troubled little girl so they know to be careful on that street.

                                I submit that scenario #2 > scenario #1. But scenario #1 would certainly be more upsetting or traumatic for you.

                                You don't need trauma to learn a lesson.
                                Last edited by cgallery; 01-27-2010, 07:30 PM.

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