On balance, I’m pretty pleased. I made the test slightly harder than I normally do for the opener, but I also spent more time reviewing things before hand (not least, I used half of last years first class test as a Pop Quiz last week). I also deliberately covered less material in the first three weeks of semester, with a view to trying to get the basics better ground in. And it all seems to have worked! Overall, things are up on last year at this time — more A’s, a higher overall average and most importantly, fewer D’s and Fails.
For those who did the test, the average score was 79% (C+). One student got all the questions right on her first go, the first in over 1400 students to have achieved that. Two students got 26/28 questions, and seventeen more got 25/28, so a total of twenty got 100% on my ask 28-questions-grade-out-of-25 algorithm. In total, there were 42 A‘s, 32 A-, 40 B+, 40 B, 42 B-, 33 C+, 39 C, 35 D, 49 and 28 fails. We had 12 no-shows.
But that all represents a big teaching challenge: over a third of the class is on a B+ or better, but more than 1 in 5 on a D or worse. How to keep the top students stretching while lifting those in the tail of the distribution?