The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Posted by Seeking Solace |

My legal research and writing class bombed their exam on secondary sources and citations. Well, I shouldn't say all of them bombed. One student received a perfect paper. After congratulating the student, I asked her how did she prepare for the exam. She said "Well, I did all the practice examples that your put online. Then, I remembered the study tips you gave in class and did those as well. And, of course, I review my notes every day." She remarked that the exam was a step by step process and if you follow the steps, and not read into the points, you would be fine. least one person was listening to me.

As for the others, they really couldn't give me an reason for their poor performance. So, I decided that I would retest them. I could not move on to the next topic without knowing that they have mastered secondary sources. I enlisted the help of one of my faculty to re-write the library scavenger hunt. I had thought that I had broken down the exam so that the steps would be easy to follow. In fact, I've used this exam for two years without incident. My colleague and remarked that maybe there is something lower than the lowest common denominator.

The students were told that they could retake the exam, but I would count the retake as their final grade for that exam. A few students did much better. A couple of them told me that they did some extra practice and even enlisted the help of some students who had taken the class. But, a couple still did not do well. One or two actually did worse the second time around.


I am not sure how the rest of the quarter is going to work out. The subject matter only gets harder.  I am thinking about doing some V-Casts on how to find these sources so that the students will have something to use outside of class. But, some of them don't even take the time to do the extra work. I can't force one to learn.

At the end of the day, it's up to the student to take responsibility for their own learning.


Anthea said...

Wow about your students. I'm so sorry to hear what happened but I must agree that it is the responsiblity of the student to prepare for it. I wonder whether they think that they don't need to work for some reason.

Nan said...

You are giving your students every opportunity and more importantly your primary concern is that they LEARN...I applaud you for a former teacher there are not enough educators who take that path...