Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 12: Quiz Recaps

I generally give quizzes that look nearly identical but have different key words. I started doing this to make copied answers easier to detect. When a single quiz or test isn't the final word on a topic, when sustained use of concepts is required, cheating is already demotivated, but I found another use for multiple versions of quizzes: grouping for recaps. Today (in three of four classes), we went over the quiz they took on Friday. Unlike in previous years, when "going over" a quiz meant I stood at the front of the room explaining correct answers and succeeding mostly in convincing students that physics is hard and complicated, this time the students presented to each other. Grouped by which quiz they took, they prepped whiteboards for a Mistake Game.

What worked:
  • Being in a group and being required to make a mistake helped students overcome the fear of presenting their work. No one balked when called to present!
  • More students paid attention, with less prodding from me, asking questions and taking notes on correct answers, than have done so when I'm "going over" a quiz.
  • The mistakes were varied: from flipping velocity from positive to negative to switching graph labels to bending lines that were supposed to be straight. And their classmates caught almost all of them!
What didn't work:
  • Some of the students were in the wrong group without noticing it. I think making the quiz number a little bigger will help with this.
I foresee using this method again, probably soon. :)

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