The test with talking in

By Marcus Wilson 11/04/2012

It’s about time I got another entry onto this blog. To be fair, we spent the long weekend (and the university stretches it out by making Tuesday a university holiday) in sunny (not) Hawke’s Bay, enjoying the wine (well, I did – Karen obviously didn’t, being pregnant), the art deco architecture, the coffee (some nice cafes) and the Hawke’s Bay micro-climate (by which I mean while the rest of NZ was basking under beautiful sunshine, Hawke’s Bay was getting a drenching. They tell me it’s supposed to be the other way around.)

Then, today was spent marking tests. This had some degree of extra interest because this was a test that the students could talk in. I was fascinated to see how they did. Overall, I think they were all helped by it. It was interesting to watch them on Thursday, form little groups, and there was way more talking than I’d ever got out of the class before in a lecture or tutorial. That’s got to be a good thing. Most of the groupings got most of the stuff correct – figured it out between them in the end, though there were a few who got one concept in particular wrong. I wonder whether this was because all the students in the group didn’t get it to start with, or maybe because there was one forceful personality in the group who convinced others that the incorrect method was the way to go. Without recording the conversations going on, it’s hard to know for sure. That would be a nice study in itself .

I haven’t had much feedback from the students yet about what they thought of this, but what I have had is more positive than negative. 

I’m running another test on these lines with a different class after the Easter Break is finished, so will watch carefully what the students do in that one, too. 




0 Responses to “The test with talking in”

  • On the feedback thing, I’m finding it really helpful to set up a ‘choice’ in Moodle, along the lines of “X helped my learning/did not help my learning/made no difference to my learning in this section of work”, & making the answers anonymous so they’re more comfortable with making a negative choice. (It’s also a good way for me to find out if they have any familiarity with a particular topic, before I teach it!)