Class test 2 ran yesterday. The class average among those who took the test was 77%, slightly up on the first test. Some students did outstandingly well. No one got everything right, but two got 100% on my ask-28-questions-grade-out-of-25 algorithm. There were 5 A‘s, 5 A-‘s, 34 B+‘s, 23 B‘s, 38 B-‘s, 21 C+‘s, 16 C‘s, 40 D‘s and 7 fails. Eight students did not take the test despite reminder emails.
The glass half full view: The test was a bit harder than last time, so it is good that the average is up a bit and in general more students are getting B’s and fewer getting a C+ or less. So things are going in the right direction and as we go over and over things for the rest of the semester, that trend will continue.
The glass half empty view: About a quarter of the class are not getting it. These are the students I really care about. Making a difference to them will generate the real impact of the course. These students are not on my wave-length. They see the world differently. If I can help empower them to see the world critically, big things will happen to them. They’ll have an impact on me too.
How to do I empower them? Well, I’ll run revision sessions on this test. I will beg, grovel and implore poorly-performing students to come to those. Experience tells me that if anyone turns up, those sessions will be dominated by students who did really well (and they are very welcome too). I will beg, grovel and implore all the students to go over their tests and pop quizzes and identify their problems, the first step to solving them. Experience tells me that the students doing well are good at that. As always, the challenge now is to figure out how to motivate the poorly-performing students to help themselves to help me help them improve. Everyone can do this. Not everyone will. My job is to make as many as possible rise to the challenge. I’m not going to lower the bar.