Grades from the second blog period are now in. Among those who did enough to pass, the average grade was 80 (B-). That’s a big and very pleasing improvement over Blog Period 1. The average improvement among those who did enough to pass this time was 14% – a grade and a half. Most excellent. Clearly many students took the feedback on board and upped their games.
The grade distribution was: A, 1: A-, 17; B+, 15; B 32, B-, 29; C+, 44; C, 24; D, 15, with 41 fails and an incredible 122 no shows (a third of the class!). I am especially pleased with the 18 students who got an A or A-.
Among their efforts were some great posts. Try, for example, linguistic genius of babies, the dangers of blogging, zombie bees, why Penn State is so sick, 7 or 8 hours sleep?, dressing well for exams, why ouch?, how meeting people with different accents makes you smarter, and whether there is any good reason to ban cell phones in hospitals. I also enjoyed elephant cancer (they don’t get nearly enough), and whether mono leads to cancer (it can) and whether vaginal births lead to smarter babies (written by a student born by c-section). I also thought it interesting that make-up might be for the wearer, and that aspirin still seems magic. And at a personal level, the analysis of the utility of bike helmets I found fascinating. I’ve just read a book by the neurosurgeon who said they are useless, and today I finally gave into the nagging of my beloved and brought myself one. After reading the post, I decided that if wearing the helmet makes her happy, I should do it for that reason – even if the safety margins seem pretty, well, marginal.
We also had the disgusting (pooh on your toothbrush, love and sweaty tee-shirts) and some great work on politically charged topics (marijuana, do men or women whine more?, how to die, and domestic violence). And there were some important discussions: is homework good? As always, it is fascinating to see where students go when left to follow their noses.
For students looking to improve. My advice after Blog Period 1 still stands. And for students who put in more hours in Blog Period 2 for little reward, I am afraid that as in much in life, it’s not the hours put in that matters: it is how those hours are put in. If in doubt, ask the TAs — or me.