19 December 2005


Nearly done with grading. I've got a few make-up tests (from Exam 4 when bad roads kept several people away) and a few replacement papers to do for stats (a paper looking at a research article that uses statistics; this paper can replace a student's lowest test score). Good thing I'm almost done, as grades are due tomorrow. :-) However, my brain isn't processing the papers at the moment, so I'm calling it good for tonight. I must say that most students probably spent less than an hour total on this paper. So they may not have benefitted at all. A few have been quite well-written and thought-out. One that was almost good completely missed the point of the article she was reviewing. It was comparing two models of global warming; her analysis claimed it was demonstrating proof that global warming happens. *sighs*

A slightly different complaint came from the statistics final exam. I had a question about blinding a study involving temperature. In the first scenario, researchers were looking at the effects of temperature on after-surgery recovery. I said to assume the patient was unconscious and "discuss the possibilities for blinding this experiment." Most correctly identified that this alone guaranteed a single-blind test. Most completely missed the point that it would be rather difficult to blind the surgeons: they're in the room; they'll notice the temperature, even if you don't tell them. A few picked up on this. Most had no clue. The Thursday question was the same but for a different scenario: it was comparing performance of a time machine based on the temperature in the room. Strangely, this question got better answers than the surgery one. Maybe students find time machines easier to deal with. *shrugs*

ADDENDUM: Done, done, done, done, done... Except for one small detail: One of my Math 143 finals is missing. I sent the student an e-mail and sent out e-mails to the other 143 instructors. I know the student was there. *sighs* Back to statistics, I had three students attempt to use abstracts instead of actual articles. Aside from the abstracts being too short (and I specifically warned them not to use too short an article), don't these kids know the difference between an abstract and a paper? Yeesh.


Fibonacci said...

Well, I personally have at least as much experience using time machines as I do performing surgery. With some students, it might be more.

Qalmlea said...

:-) I suspect some would like a time machine to go back and look up some things before actually taking the final.