Saturday, April 23, 2005

Today was a pretty full day. Instead of my normal help lab, today I gave make-up tests to people who couldn’t take the test (or didn’t want to...) on Wednesday night. After the students turned in their test I looked through the cheat sheets that they were allowed to have. Well, they were allowed to have one page on hand-written notes and the Z and t tables, but as I found out this is not always the case.
The point of letting the students have the page of hand written notes is so that while they write up their cheat sheet they are also studying. What I found was that other TA’s are giving their students cheat sheets that are done very well (good enough that the students did not really have to study any), which isn’t too bad by itself, but there is another twist to the problem.
The other GTAs grade very easily. So a low B in my class might be an A in their class. Now compile that with a sheet where they have all the formulas given to them, and a student who has no idea what they are doing, can copy a formula from the sheet, and probably get 80% credit for the problem. So a student, who did not study, and frankly does not even need to try, can get a B easily.
The real problem for me though is when my students complain because they have to learn the stuff, when their friends have no idea what they are doing, but have a better grade. And I can’t just say “well you know this stuff better than them” because really, for most of them, stat knowledge doesn’t matter, they just need to get a good grade in my class to keep their GPA up. Oh, I try, and it sucks when I try to be a good teacher I am criticized, and the stupidly easy GTAs are praised by their students...
Anyways, after giving make-ups and grading my tests, I came home, didn’t do anything useful, then Nicole came home and we went off to Cox to grab some BBQ nachos before we went to the Phantom of the Opera for Jenette’s B-Day.
After the movie (review of the movie in next post) we went to Applebee’s. Good times abounded and the tea flowed like milk and honey in the land of plenty (that’s a good thing). Now I am just clicking away on the computer because I am not really tired.

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