Day 11: Text Anxiety

16 09 2009

survey 612107_highDay 11 marked our first exam, covering three chapters of material, and since we could check attendance based on who took the exam, this became our first completely phone-free class day.

One of the big questions I hope to answer is whether or not we can identify a solution robust enough to administer a major exam (50 items) on the phone. Given the amount of trouble we have had giving 10 item quizzes on Blackboard, I have no interest in attempting it using that tool. Hopefully one of our alternative quiz platforms will be more reliable, although it will have to be virtually bullet-proof before I’m willing to risk it on something as significant as an exam. For example, what happens if the server hiccups in the middle—do my students just lose their work or can they log back in and continue? Or what about the students who need the entire fifty minutes–what do they do when the file goes down for 5 minutes in the middle? These and many other questions remain to be answered; if we are potentially able to take the final exam on the phone I will consider that a major achievement.

Of course electronic exams are a good news/bad news proposition: good in that they provide feedback immediately, very bad if that feedback leads the students to cry out in despair or shout for joy while others are still testing. Perhaps we can count off 10 points for any of them who yell?




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