I was grading my first set of quizzes in my Physics of Sound and Music course today, and I realized I could do it better. First some context: This is a standards-based grading course, so that means that each quiz has several problems on it, but in the end they only get scores for each standard that is assessed. Here’s the quiz this time around:
You find yourself on an alien planet. You’re standing next to one of the very nice aliens when it (he? she? who knows when there’s 7 limbs of all shapes and sizes) claps its largest “hands” once. One second later, you notice what you thought was a rock off in the distance jump up. A while later, the whole scene repeats, so you ask what that’s all about. Your new friend tells you that the sioeuovwveoxcv rock responds to clapping sounds by jumping. At first you’re weirded out by this because the rock is only 100 meters away. Then you remember that it’s an alien planet with a different atmosphere.
Why are you weirded out at first (use your data from yesterday’s lab).
If you clap repetitively, how often should you clap so that the rock jumps every 0.5 seconds?
- Assuming you do clap repetitively every 1 second, how far apart could two rocks be so that they jump at the same time. Assume they can’t be next to each other.
While the standards assessed were:
- I can describe sound (vague, I know, but I told them it would grow in complexity as the semester goes along), and
- I can describe the relationships between amplitude, wavelength, frequency, and speed.
So, for each student, I looked at their work, and determined two scores (from my Noschese-inspired rubric) to give them. The second question helped me see if they could get that the rock would jump at the same rate as the clapper, only delayed. That gets at a major piece of what sound is that we’ve been talking about. The third question really gets at the wavelength/period stuff.
One of the things I noticed was how many ways to get each question right, and, similarly, wrong. We went over the quiz in class after they finished, so I didn’t spend a lot of time correcting their work. Instead I simply made a simple mark and then wrote down the scores.
And that’s when it hit me. I could finally explore something I read about from Frank Noschese a while ago. Really, what I want to borrow from that is the notion of the students indicating what they’ve done right and wrong, and also for them to make clear where they’d like feedback.
So here’s the plan: I’ll hand out the quiz, and then provide a solution when they’re done (individually – lots of paper, I suppose, but probably worth it). I’ll ask them to use a different pen color to mark on their page where they’d like to receive some feedback (further explanation, explaining “why isn’t this also correct,” etc.). I’ll also ask them to rate themselves on the relevant standards. I’m not sure how much I’ll honor that work, but it’ll be really helpful to me, I think, to see what they think.
Then, back in my office, I’ll go through them and provide individualized feedback, though, I suppose, I could see some patterns and just do a screencast or something. The goal, of course, is learning, so I’m hoping that they’ll learn something from first doing the problems, and then looking to see how they differ from my solutions.
So what do you think? Brilliant? Old hat? Dumb? Here are some comment starters for you:
- I’m in this class and I’m totally confused by this.
- I’m in this class and I think this is a great idea because _____ .
- I’m in this class and I think this is a horrible idea because _____ .
- Why don’t you do what Frank does with his stations?
- This is a terrible idea, because they’re just going to switch back to their original pens and fix their mistakes.
- This is a great idea, because they won’t go back to fix their mistakes since it’s an SBG classroom.