The Hypocrisy of Traditional Tests

TL;DR Traditional tests require students to work a few (hopefully) appropriately chosen, illustrative problems to demonstrate proficiency. What does it matter if they do these few problems early in the semester or later in the semester? What does it matter if they do them with us watching or not? What makes one essentially random problem […]

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Oral Interviews as Assessment

TL;DR I have begun using oral interviews as a replacement for traditional written tests and quizzes. There are many advantages for faculty and students, including elimination of paperwork, better chances for understanding students’ state of comprehension, a more relaxed environment, and no possibility for gaming for points. The ongoing pandemic has amplified many questions I […]

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Matter & Interactions I, Week 12

I’m getting the jump on this week for a change! This week is all about assessments and building solution portfolios. Taking a cue from something I saw in Kip Thorne’s graduate course on gravitational waves, I’m experimenting with a new way of letting students learn. EDIT 2022-03-10: The actual assignment document I gave students appears […]

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Ideas for Next Fall

This week wraps up another academic year and I’m already mulling over some ideas for doing things differently in calculus-based physics next fall. This post is just a brain dump of those ideas. As always, feedback is welcome. Okay. My students have totally bought into standards based grading. I struggle with my standards and whether […]

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Physics Standards, M&I Chapters 1-3

Here are my M&I class’s standards for chapters 1-3. Students had considerable input into the formulation of these standards. Standard: I can use consistent and correct vector notation. Proficiency Indicator(s): Correct vector notation is used consistently throughout a problem or explanation. Mastery Rubric: Vectors are indicated with arrows. Vector components are indicated with appropriate subscripts or […]

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