[KACT] Finals

  • From: Kelly Deters <kellymdeters@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: kact@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2005 07:59:08 -0800 (PST)

For some reasons, none of my posts have gone through
since Tues, although other people's have...I'm working
on that with "freelists.org"  In the meantime, I'm
sending my posts from another account...please excuse
the "multiple posts" if my original ones magical
appear in the future!

In the last day and a half, I'm discovering more about
why my students do so poorly on finals in my class.  I
have yet to hear of another teacher giving a "real"
final besides me and one of the biology teachers. 
These are the comments I've heard so far:
"My teacher gave us the questions in class ahead of
time during the review" (I guess they went through
them verbally). 
"My final was opinion questions" 
"My final was reflection questions" 
"That was the most pointless, waste of a time it was
so easy" 
And I won't even go into the finals in classes such as
"aerobics" or "weight lifting" 
Combine this idea of other classes not giving "real"
finals that test the students with our waiver policy,
the fact that we don't have +/- grades and with the
fact that the weighting is so low that it doesn't
"affect" many people (I've had a final change 2
students' grades so far out of about 50)...it's no
wonder my kids walk in and flunk it and don't care!
Now the question is...do I keep "fighting" it and
giving them finals that they flunk...or do I give in
as the others have and give "fluff" finals to satisfy
our principal that requires that a final be given in
each class?

I'm forwarding to the list because it's an interesting
point to consider--the trickle-down-effect.

I personally never had "comprehensive" finals in
college...but I went to a complete block plan school
where "comprehensive" covered 3.5 weeks--and most
classes were so crammed for time that they didn't take
time to take a "last test" and then a separate
"comprehensive" final as well.  Many classes did have
a final project--writing in some classes, lab
practicals in many science classes, etc.  In Grad
School, I never had a comprehensive final
either...usually we had a cumulative project (such as
a curriculum to develop) that we presented at the end.

My mom is a prof at Univ of Central Florida and this
semester she gave her students a choice of having a
last test or a comprehensive final...she had students
that chose both and so she gave both...I haven't asked
her yet which benefited students more gradewise.


-----Original Message-----
From:   Terry Tinich [mailto:tinicht@xxxxxxxxxx]
Sent:   Mon 12/19/2005 3:39 PM
To:     Deters, Kelly
Subject:        reply
I don't know if you got my first letter.  Just
wondering -- ask your 
past students how many of them actually take "finals".
 I've done it for 
years (finals) but more and more, both from larger
universities to 
smaller private colleges, finals are nothing more than
another test and 
are not comprehensive.  Our high school kids are
getting wind of this 
and this is their argument --  along with the 10-15%
grade which, I 
agree, only affects a few of them.  Plus the empathy
of "heck, an 81- 
87, they are both still B's"!!   Glad to hear we all
have the same 
problem -- now we just need a solution.
Terry Tinich
Pomona High

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