Friday, February 1, 2008

Improving Student Success

My brother e-mailed me an article featuring a rather novel (in my experience) method of improving student success in science classes. It does seem that this method would increase retention rates for introductory biology, but there were some indications in the article that it does not increase student learning.

The headline to the story, teacher could face firing over giving test answers, suggests why this might be the case. The method itself, however, was novel enough that The Thomas commented "You just can't make things (like this) up" and I felt compelled to share it with my few readers below the fold.

You see, the teacher did not actually "give" the test answers to his students. He allegedly italicized (or bold faced or increased the font size) of the correct options on 29 of 34 questions on a multiple choice test. For those of you keeping score at home, that would amount to a grade of 85% or 87 (if he gave 3 points per answer for a max of 102) before trying the remaining questions.

A student quoted in the article said ""I think everybody was passing, unless they had attendance issues, but we weren't learning very much. At least I felt unprepared when I got to chemistry." Perceptive student!

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