Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Midterm day

I gave my Soc of Religion class their midterm today, and I was struck by several things.

1) Giving tests is perhaps the only truly boring aspect of an otherwise consistently interesting job. (Faculty meetings are about the only competitor). Granted taking tests isn't fun, but watching people take tests is no great shakes either.

2) Good multiple choice questions are really hard to write. That may be the one aspect of teaching that I still feel pretty unsure about. Any advice?

3) I'm pretty sure that about 1/5 the class will be glaring at me on class Thursday. That's usually about how many seem to get grades much lower than they think they deserved. It will take a few lectures before they warm up again. When I started teaching, I would make personal attributions... I didn't do a good job with those lectures (after the midterm). Now it's pure situational attributions.


Knumb said...

boy, i remember the last midterm I took. may i never take another.

giving midterms with dad was fun (as his grad assistant). he'd point out the hot babes and tell me which ones were smart, to boot.

oh, then there's the time I caught a future NFL player cheating....

I suppose there is some interesting stuff in there, for you, but yea I guess it's boring.

Andy said...

I'm grading the midterm I gave yesterday. Let's just say I'm going to wait until Monday to post grades online so that they can enjoy homecoming this Saturday.
P.S. Happy belated belated birthday.

Jay Livingston said...

Here's my most vivid memory from giving a midterm: it was early in my career (i.e., a long time ago); the students were all looking down at their papers, so for the first time I was seeing at the tops of their heads. And I remember thinking: when did guys start parting their hair in the middle?

kent said...

So they don't like their grades. Disappointment is a part of life. They reap with they have sown. Glare back at them. You got their money what are they going to do? Can't you get some grad student to proctor those things? Maybe a video IPod or something.

Brad Wright said...

Andy, I've done the exact same thing... planned the timing of returning the exams to minimize conflict.

John, sounds like you figured out quite an angle on midterms.

Jay, I don't think that guys part their hair in the middle anymore. I just hope that I don't have to take a test, so that they don't see my thinning hair!

Kent, I suppose I could glare back, but more than anything I kind of feel bad for them. They work hard, and it's so disappointing not to get what we feel we deserve.