Thursday, May 30, 2013

Choose your own final exam!

At the end of the first semester, I gave the traditional final exam, but with the SBG flair. It was cumbersome to say the least. To fit 25-30 standards onto a single test expanded the test to about 8 pages. In the end, it was a good test in that students were able to finish it and it adequately covered the entire semester. But after 3 days of proctoring finals, I had 2 days to grade 150 exams that were each 8 pages long. Never again.

So leading up to the end of this semester I had an idea: if the core of Standards-Based Grading (SBG) is to pinpoint specific content that students have mastered, why bother making them take a final exam full of content that they've already demonstrated proficiency on? Why not let students focus their efforts on only the standards that they've struggled with?

Here's what I did: I wrote individual assessments for every standard (30 for geometry, 24 for physics and 30 for astronomy). Then I wrote a Google Form to allow students to tell me which standards they'd like to take on the final. Once I sifted through the data, I was able to give each student an exam tailored to their specific needs. The major stipulations were that students had to pick at least 10, and they had to start by picking the standards which hadn't been mastered yet.

Here's the form I'm having students fill out (please don't submit anything - it'll only confuse me):

I'm really excited to see how this all pans out. Gotta be willing to try something new, right?