It’s the middle of exam week and mentally I’ve already moved on to next year. I am so ready to start SBG (Stanards Based Grading) that I’m actually a little sick and embarrassed of my finals this year.
But I started to wonder “what’s the role of final exams in SBG?” As soon as I started looking, I realized how silly it is of me to think that I’m the first to have thought of that. There are great posts dedicated to this topic from Shawn Cornally, from Jason Buell, from Frank Noschese, and from Daniel Schneider.
As I was reading these posts, I had an idea.
What if we (the mathtwitterblogosphere) had an exchange of finals, and made it sorta a competition between students (for the students’ sake, not for the teacher’s egos and definitely not for administrators to wield as a “we’re better than you”
tool weapon). I think my students would be way more motivated by me saying “hey, here’s another teacher’s final–show me how well you can do on it because you know each of these skills!”
The other thing this would do, which would interest me as a teacher, is it would remove the “specifics” of my assessments which might inadvertently help students out, and I could really see how well they know the standards.
Must Be Careful Of…
I guess we need to be careful with other’s finals that they don’t fly out into the greater community (read: students cheating).
Another thing is that I (and whoever would try this with me) would have to be careful not to give assessments that rely on knowledge that is so specific to the course that it is not immediately transferable to the same course at a different school or taught by a different teacher. I think that in the long run this is a good thing because it forces us to focus on what’s important. (I mean, that’s the goal of SBG, right?) And by “focus” I mean focus our teaching, HW, prior assessments, explanations: the whole shebang. (Is that how you spell “shebang”?)
Different schools provide different amounts of time for finals… consider the problems that go with that.
Often times I’ll blog about something that came to me and I thought was an awesome idea. Then I’ll look back on it a few days later and think “meh”. This idea is already starting to look “meh” in my mind, but feel free to run with it as you like.