Monthly Archives: January 2012

Problems with trigonometry or rounding?

It is not a mistake that I start this post with a screenshot of the same variant of the same question that I was talking about last time. I said that 8.2% of responses got the trigonometry or the algebra … Continue reading

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Problems with trigonometry or algebra?

Ask a university teacher of science about their new students’ mathematical difficulties and the chances are you’ll be told that students can’t rearrange equations. They may go on to tell you that this is the fault of poor school-teaching or … Continue reading

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More on checking questions – an unhelpful tool

I’m still thinking about guidelines for checking questions. Except this is a guideline for what not to do… My husband has been checking some Moodle questions for colleagues today and has mentioned two things to me. First of all he … Continue reading

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In the hands of our students

I’ve just attended a very interesting JISC webinair in which David Nicol spoke on the subject ‘Assessment and feedback : in the hands of the student’. He was focusing on the cognitive processes surrounding the receiving and giving of feedback, and … Continue reading

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Multiple choice vs short answer questions

I’m indebted to Silvester Draaijer for leading me towards an interesting article: Funk, S.C. & Dickson, K.L (2011) Multiple-choice and short-answer exam performance in a college classroom. Teaching of Psychology, 38 (4), 273-277. The authors used exactly the same questions in  … Continue reading

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Checking questions

At last week’s Quality Enhancement Seminar, I was asked for guidance on checking interactive computer-marked assignment (iCMA) questions and for guidance on writing questions that are easy to check. We have detailed but rather OU- and OpenMark-centric guidelines for question … Continue reading

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A consistent approach to assessment design

Last week, I participated in a ‘Quality Enhancement Seminar’ on ‘Effective use of interactive computer-marked assessment’. A list of tips I gave included the following two points: 11. Embed iCMAs carefully within the module’s assessment strategy, considering carefully whether you want them … Continue reading

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Feedback and anger

My previous two posts have identified two conditions which lead to feedback being less than useful: 1. when the recipient doesn’t understand the feedback; 2. when there is a lack of alignment between what is said and information received from … Continue reading

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Conditions under which feedback is useless

Reflecting on the previous post, where a feedback intervention was not understood by a student, I really wonder how useful much of our feedback is. And some of the theory (especially frequently referenced lists of conditions under which feedback supports … Continue reading

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When students don’t understand our feedback

One of the consequences of my ‘day job’ is that I tend to hear more from students who are disastified in some way with what we do, than from those who are happy. An associate lecturer on one of the … Continue reading

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