[KACT] Re: Finals & Students

  • From: "Deters, Kelly" <DetersK@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <kact@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2005 14:42:56 -0600

Our weightings are mandated by department--our science dept is 10% finals (some 
depts are 15% and some are 20%).  It only "affects" very few students--most 
have to get lower than a 30% to change their grade downward and most can't 
change their grade upward without getting more than 100%.  This may be adding 
to the "don't care" feeling.  There are a handful of students on the edge of a 
letter grade that it does greatly affect.  Also, we don't have +/- grades...a 
91.5% (our lowest A) is the same in your GPA as a 100%--there's no motivation 
to "keep" their A rather than have an A-.
We have an exemption policy.  Any student that has no discipline points for the 
semester (we're in a private school with a point-system for discipline) can 
waive one final in a class they have 86% or higher in (always up to teacher 
discretion...they can always so no waivers).  Seniors can waive 2 possibly--one 
for not having any discipline points and 1 for having less than 7 hours of 
unexcused absences.  AP and college courses cannot be waived. 
On the one hand it makes less grading for me...but on the other hand, it 
definetly adds to the atmosphere of "play time" during "review days" when 10 
out of 30 of your students in any given class are waiving their final and 
therefore definetly don't need to "review."  This waiver system has been the 
key factor in cutting down on my in-class prep time.
I agree, Brad, the final grades are much lower than individual test 
grades--even though those are not multiple choice (which is easier) and they 
have more difficult and multi-step problems than the final.  I don't get it.

-----Original Message-----
From: kact-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:kact-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of 
Cline, Brad
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2005 2:31 PM
To: kact@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [KACT] Re: Finals & Students

I give a 46 question multiple choice test in advanced Chem II, and in my 
Physics class.  The Chem I final has more questions (not as much mathematical 
problem solving as the former two) and is also multiple choice.  I have seen 
the same thing as Kelly.  The students are doing very poorly on the finals.  I 
just got the results tabulated from my 4th Hour Physics and the class average 
on the final was 69%.   The class average for all the unit exams for this 
semester is an 84%.  Why the huge fall off?   The final, in many ways, is 
easier than any of the unit exams.  I've seen similar outcomes in my Chemistry 
classes as well.  I'm really not sure what to make of it, but it is frustrating.


We have also has a huge number of students protesting that if they got a good 
grade for the semester thus far, they should get a exemption from the final 
exam.  In other words they shouldn't have to retain any information for the 
semester nor should they have to review the material.  I'm not sure where this 
idea got started in our school, but it has become a greater issue each year.  
The staff was surveyed and only a slight majority 54% wanted to make all 
students take finals.  The slight minority wanted to do away with finals 
altogether or give the exemption for A students. 


I weigh the finals as 15%... maybe I need to make it worth more... how do 
others weigh the final?





Scientia non habet inimicum nisp ignorantem.


Bradley L Cline

Chemistry I, Chemistry II, Physics Instructor

Goddard High School

2500 S 199th St West

PO Box 189

Goddard, KS  67052-0189



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