>More on collaborative oral assessments

>Today was the last of four consecutive class periods dedicated to oral assessments in my Theoretical Mechanics course. I’ve written about these assessments before. After that last post some of my tweeps said they’d love to see some of the assessments in action. I asked the students if it would be ok if I video taped (that’s such an anachronistic phrase, what’s the modern version?) the class and they gave me the thumbs up. Below are a couple videos from today.

In both I start the clip after the student has finished working the problem. This is when the whole class has a conversation about how to assess the work.

In the one above the student was asked to show the steps necessary to determine the motion of a double pendulum when the first rod is replaced by a spring. He got a little hung up on the potential energy but eventually got it all down. The students and I decided it was a 3 (meets expectations) but it was interesting to hear the debate about whether it was a 4 (exceeds expectations). That’s when I introduced the concept that I brag to my colleagues about any 4’s that ever happen. I say pretty bluntly that I wouldn’t brag about that performance.

In this one the student had to solve the this problem.

Here it’s neat to hear the students making the case that this is a 4. And, true to my word, I bragged about this one to my colleagues later in the day.

I really like how open the class is about these assessments. They’re honest with each other and they’re very thoughtful about their comments. This class has sure been a lot of fun so far.

About Andy Rundquist

Professor of physics at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN
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5 Responses to >More on collaborative oral assessments

  1. Joss Ives says:

    >I will expand slightly on what I said on twitter. It really looks like the peer-evaluation has helped these students better reflect on their own level of performance and thus be able to self-assess more honestly and objectively. Their interaction with the peer-evaluation task is wonderful and it is really nice to see your students handle honest and constructive criticism without needing to feel defensive. Fantastic work with this so far Andy. It really looks like your previous experience giving oral exams is proving to be a great asset in your SBG implementation. It looks like I'm teaching Quantum Mechanics I in the Fall and you have definitely inspired me to try to bring pretty much everything I'm seeing in this mathematical physics course into my QM course (screencasts instead of reading assignments, submitting homework via screencast, collaborative oral assessments and hopefully even SBG).

  2. >Thanks, Joss. We just did our scheduling for next year yesterday and I have E&M in the fall. Looking forward to doing this stuff in that class too. Of course it'll be a lot of the same students so I won't have to work as hard to explain the system.I'm also looking forward to next spring when I'll teach optics. That'll be the first time I'll teach a class that I've taught before using the flipped class method. I'm really curious to see how I can leverage the fact that so much has already been done for the course.

  3. Evans says:

    >Andy…this was amazing. The group was incredibly honest with each other and made constructive remarks about each student's performance. I wonder to what extent this could be done with high school students with large class sizes. I think many high school students would find it difficult to take criticism like this in front of their peers. Teaching them about how to give and take positive criticism would be a good start.

  4. >These students have done group oral exams in at least two other courses so they're pretty used to this. It's just in the culture of our department because every class starting with Modern Physics uses such oral exams. It's a great culture to have, that's for sure, as they seem to take criticism from each other better than they do from us.

  5. Pingback: Assessment, Feedback, and Grading « Teach. Brian. Teach.

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