8 MY CURRENT EXPERIMENT.docx

My giving them answers and information is not nearly

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My giving them answers and information is not nearly as beneficial as them getting the information and figuring out the answers for themselves. When a student comes by to ask for help here in this last month, I like to ask that person to start writing one test problem after each class. I want to see one problem that they think I might ask on a test based on the material we covered. I want them to start focusing on how the material can be turned into questions. In the book Make It Stick , the authors assert that students often over-estimate what they have learned. I think that is probably true. I also think it is true that students focus on answering the questions they have already seen and not on the questions they are going to see. What I find fascinating is that, even after having two of my tests, students often write poor questions. For the most part, they simply take the questions that I ask in class and change a few words or numbers. I think that is how many of them have been trained in high school. The teacher says something. The student writes it down. The student hands it back on the test. The student gets an A. That does not work in my class. I ask them to take material and do something different with it. I sometimes think that the reason they are not making an A or B is that they don’t truly understand how they are going to be tested. When they send me their questions, I often point out “that sounds like what I asked in class. I’m probably not going to ask that same question again.
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  • Spring '14
  • JoeB.Hoyle
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