There are four class tests during the semester. I take the average of the best two as the final test grade. This allows students to improve. Improvement is of course the aim of education. It also eases complaints and fear. For many of the students, their grade on the first class test was their first C or D ever.
The breakdown for the overall test grades for 2014: A, 23 (including two with 100%); A-, 55; B+, 21; B, 29; B-, 27; C+, 13; C, 8; D, 8; Fails, 2.
Interestingly, that means 42% of the class got an A of some sort. The corresponding figure for the blogs is 16%. So despite the endless complaints that my tests are too hard, people actually do better on the tests than on the blogs. I hadn’t thought of that before, but looking at it, I see that was also true in previous years (e.g. 2013 blogs, 2013 class tests). So there is more scope for improvement with the blogs. That’s especially interesting since they can be done any time, on anything, under no time pressure, no exam freak-out scene, with endless help freely available from the TAs and with lots of personalized feedback from the graders….
Memo to self: make sure you mention this to the class next year.