Quizzes

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Quizzes were given to encourage students to stay on track with reading and homework assignments. Development of “brand new” problems is difficult in the context of undergraduate engineering courses where fundamental concepts must be tested, and where there are only a finite number of ways to present these concepts.  As such, these quizzes were created by selecting from previous course material developed by the instructor, Tarek Aziz, or drawing on this material in order to choose problems of appropriate difficulty. Textbook and online resources were used as well. Although the questions posed are not entirely new, the process of selecting appropriate problems to match the pace of the course and the time allotted was a good learning experience. It is quite difficult to choose only a few problems which allow the students to demonstrate understanding of all the necessary concepts in a short amount of time.

Quiz 4 – Conservation of Mass

Reflection: Since this was the first quiz I developed, I drew heavily on material developed by the faculty mentor for previous semesters. The second two questions were similar to previous material but modified somewhat to check student comprehension of material that had been emphasized in class or in homework exercises, in line with my teaching philosophy that student assessments should be representative of familiar material. After returning the quizzes to the students, I learned that writing clear and concise questions is more difficult than I anticipated. I also learned that it is important to be very clear if working together with a teaching assistant for grading purposes. There was some confusion regarding question 2 which required some re-grading. To improve this quiz, I would finish creating it, wait a day or two, then take the quiz as a “student”. This is a lesson I tried to apply to future assessments.

Quiz 5 – Conservation of Momentum

Reflection: The physical system in this quiz was taken from Frank M. White’s Fluid Mechanics. The problem was broken down into small chunks so that students could demonstrate their understanding of finite bits of course material. Again, there were some questions about the wording of the quiz that required me to make clarifying explanations in class. Similar to quiz 4, I needed to better consider how the difficulty level and clarity were from the students’ perspectives. There were some students who did very well on the quiz, and others who did not do well at all which showed me where the gaps in understanding are. I worked to address these gaps in future sessions.

Quiz 6 – Conservation of Energy

Reflection: Similar to quizzes 4 and 5, I used material covered in the course textbook, Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics (Munson, Young, Okiishi and Huebsch) and drew from my questions given by my faculty mentor in previous semesters. Problems 3 and 4 were meant to reinforce terminology that I had emphasized in class and to assess whether sutdents were  correctly understanding this concept. Students performed fairly well, but I learned that it is important with multiple choice questions to ensure that two options couldn’t be interpreted as correct. In this case, I ended up accepting two options as correct because the questions wasn’t worded to exclude enough options.

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