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At the end of last week I talked about watching the use of multiple choice scratch cards in an electronics tutorial. Well, on Monday afternoon, I tried them out myself, with two different groups of students. It was a first-year physics class – I have two tutorial groups of these, the first on Mondays from 3-4 pm; the second immediately following, 4-5 pm. 

Now, my experience with the first group was similar to what I saw last week – more talking than usual as students worked out the correct answer and discussed it with each other. And that’s good. They all participated – they all got to think through things themselves – and certainly for some of them learning was happening.

However, I was a bit surprised by how the second group took it. They had a different response; they seemed to take it as a very serious individual exercise – hardly any talking or sharing of responses. They were after marks that were better than anyone else’s, even though what they got counted for nothing as far as the final course grade goes.

Interestingly, when I asked the two groups whether they wanted the same kind of thing next week, the first group were rather ‘yeah-nah-yeah-whatever’ about it, while the second were all for it.

Not sure what to make of it all – except I’ll do it again next time.