Questions tagged [assessment]

Assessment questions ask how to properly, effectively, and efficiently ascertain the abilities of students. This doesn't necessarily involve numerical grades, but rather is focused on an overall characterization of knowledge/ability.

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58
votes
4answers
4k views

Is it worth grading calculus homework?

I am a young math educator. I've TAed four semesters of calculus for various instructors. Some instructors have required me to grade selected problems in homework sets. Another required me simply to ...
38
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4answers
2k views

Teaching undergraduates who expect a high-school-like learning environment

tl;dr: Some students expect to be told "what's on the test", to memorize and then move on. What can be done to change how they learn while teaching them what to learn? Context: Introductory, ...
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4answers
2k views

How to convey the meaning of “mathematical maturity”?

Some university-level courses have no specific prerequisites, yet are mathematically involved to the extent that someone with little to no experience in math will probably find themselves in over ...
27
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7answers
2k views

How to solve the problem of Wolfram Alpha?

I teach to predominantly non-majors in college algebra, precalculus, and calculus. How can one possibly incentivize or rationalize assigning practice problems outside of class when this software is ...
27
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4answers
880 views

The Undergraduate Responsibility Gradient

We tell undergraduate students that they should study two to three hours for every hour they spend in class. We know that many students don't follow through with this nearly to the degree that they ...
21
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2answers
643 views

Exam philosophy

I'm curious if anyone knows of any books, studies, or other resources on the philosophy of creating and grading mathematics exams. After working as a graduate TA for 4 years and dealing with a wide ...
20
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2answers
573 views

Separating the roles of “teacher” and “assessor”

Teachers at the university level (at least what I've seen in the US) are responsible for both teaching students the material for a course, and assessing the students' understanding of the course ...
20
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1answer
540 views

How do I track down the sources of solutions which students have used to cheat on exams?

I recently taught an introduction to real analysis. I assigned a (covid-induced) take-home final, which included the question: Define the set S by $$ \bigcup_{n=1}^\infty \left\{ \frac{a}{2^n}\...
19
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5answers
345 views

Is required reading of the text effective, and how can it be assessed?

This will likely depend on the class, of course. But I've asked calculus students in the past if (a) they regularly read the textbook and (b) whether this is helpful for them and (c) whether they like ...
19
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3answers
527 views

Requiring basic skills to pass a course without increasing their grading weight

As I grade my final exams, I sometimes find calculus 1 students who will pass with a C but lack critical skills like the chain rule. This can be for a number of reasons, for instance: They understand ...
18
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5answers
498 views

Making standards for “showing work” explicitly clear to students

I do not mean for this thread to be a discussion of whether or not students should show work on an exam, whether they should be docked points for just "seeing" an answer and writing it down, whether ...
18
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5answers
335 views

Can homework play a substantial role in the assessment of understanding in university math?

Ideally, I'd like my students' grades to be based on more than just exams, because I think that certain tasks, such as writing proofs, aren't best performed in a test environment. Using homework for ...
17
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6answers
5k views

How to deal with a “protest” assignment?

I just received one assignment (by email) from a student. Out of 6 questions, "I don't know" is the answer to 4 of them. There is also a comment at the end of the assignment which suggests my ...
16
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2answers
210 views

What happens when the state mandates college math placement policies?

The state of Illinois is currently considering a bill to mandate that all public institutions accept a score of 3 on every Advanced Placement exam. Bill here. The lobbyists in favor of the bill claim ...
14
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2answers
216 views

How can you determine the quality of your teaching, or someone else's?

The question in the title is immensely subjective and broad, and so I would like to narrow it to an answerable question: What measures are in common use by administrators and researchers in ...
13
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3answers
3k views

What research is there on the effectiveness of multiple choice questions for summative assessment?

This is perhaps the question that some thought Grading scale: how to handle multiple choice questions with different number of choices really was. I'm of the opinion that multiple choice questions ...
13
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1answer
1k views

elementary level assessment tools

I'm looking for an assessment tool to ability group 4th and 5th grade students, in particular setting a "top" group. This group would receive more enrichment, less practice on concepts and a faster ...
12
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4answers
369 views

How to design multiple choice questions

I've seen the previously-asked questions about the effectiveness of multiple choice problems, but I want to know about design. What are best practices in multiple choice problem design? The "common" ...
12
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2answers
233 views

How do you incorporate the results from a final exam into evidence of learning in a valid and justifiable way (i.e. grade determination)?

How do you incorporate the results from a final exam into evidence of learning in a valid and justifiable way (i.e. grade determination)? This question is open to all education levels. What is your ...
11
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4answers
5k views

Grading homework problems on completion vs. correctness, and overall grading

I taught Calculus 2 at my institution the past two semesters and several students have left comments in their course evaluations that advocate grading homework problems based on whether they were ...
11
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4answers
379 views

Placing incoming college freshmen: basic algebra, pre-calc, calc

Assume that you have incoming college freshmen, so you might have access to their high school courses and grades, as well as their results on a placement test offered by your college. Also, assume ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Project/Assessment based on Flatland for Secondary Geometry Class

One of my favorite books is Flatland by Edwin Abbott, which is incredibly rich in geometric concepts especially relating to dimensionality. I would really like to assign it to my secondary geometry ...
11
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2answers
286 views

Weekly quizzes as an alternative for midterms? What is this called?

I have seen (by some of my former instructors) the following strategy applied as an alternative to traditional "midterms and final" assessment in a math course: Students take a quiz weekly. ...
11
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1answer
261 views

What are some resources for “ungrading” in a math class?

Most of the stuff I'm finding online about ungrading are either general descriptions of its virtues, or personal accounts from instructors from subjects other than math. Does anyone know any resources ...
11
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1answer
716 views

Effectiveness of multiple-choice versus short answer questions

I want to know if there is any research on whether students' learn better by answering selected response (multiple choice) questions than constructed response (written) questions. My gut feeling is ...
10
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7answers
2k views

Do you have an efficient way to view student responses to remote assignments allowing them to type math symbols and steps? (Middle + High school)

Asking for a friend, this seems generally useful given #distanceLearning right now. Below is her message in a quote block followed by my response. I am using Google Classroom, G-sheets, G-Docs, G-...
10
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3answers
255 views

In math courses with writing requirements, how should large papers be graded fairly?

In a course I am teaching this semester, I am required to have my students write a large (6-12 page or so) paper worth 40% of their grade. Many other colleges have courses with similar requirements, e....
10
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2answers
251 views

Pros and cons of randomised question generation

I am developing an assessment piece where the content is the same but the particular numbers are different for each student. It involves finding Triangle Centers given points using coordinate geometry....
10
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3answers
3k views

Questions for Oral Examination in Mathematics

I am working on some research on implementation of oral assessment in mathematics classroom, and I was wondering are there any questions/problems/concepts in mathematics that can be only assessed ...
10
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2answers
151 views

Cognitive demands of a mathematical task

I'm looking for a theoretical framework to classify a task based on its cognitive demand. I only have the Smith and Stein's (1998) proposal and PISA framework such as my principal references. In ...
10
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1answer
368 views

How, now, shall we teach math online?

Now that everyone has had the experience of teaching math in an online/remote/synchronous/asynchronous format, and looking forward to more of this in the Summer and Fall terms, how do we change our ...
10
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2answers
327 views

Placement tests for middle school math

Our district has changed its approach to placing students in grades 6 and 7 math classes. Students considered for placement above grade level must now take a test composed of problems drawn from the ...
9
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5answers
272 views

Mathematics exam — How to keep brain functioning through a four-hour exam?

So my question isn't directly related to math, but I think you might be able to help me. I'm a 17 year old, last year at school. My class specializes in math/physics (that's our educational system in ...
9
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4answers
229 views

How to assess an undergraduate mathematics program?

Our university and department, like most, are required to "assess" our program annually. In the past our department has done this by e.g. picking one of the learning outcomes for our program and a ...
9
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2answers
134 views

What do you look for in a student presentation?

Context: I am teaching a course on plane geomtery at an mid-size state University in the USA for students who wish to be high school math teachers. They will have to make presentations once per week, ...
9
votes
1answer
191 views

How to read better?

In this semester I've realized that many of the problems (my) students have can be solved by reading better. The most recent example I've encountered was in the last exam; I asked them the following: ...
8
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4answers
324 views

Teaching arithmetic operations ($+ - \times \div$) to a 3 year old

What is the best way to teach the standard arithmetic operations ($+ - \times \div$) to a 3 year old child? Also: How we do know if the child has really understood it? can a kid be 3 years old ...
8
votes
1answer
88 views

Assessing the level of students in a class

Recently I've moved to another university and next semester I will have my first class there. The problem is that I don't know the level of the students that will be attending my class. Of course, I'...
8
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0answers
175 views

Are there standard questions for testing how an instructor grades calculus?

My institution is now in the process of "standardizing" our calculus classes. One issue we have is the variation among instructors in grading problems. I am interested if there are ways to objectively ...
7
votes
6answers
918 views

Efficient methods to receive and grade online mathematics assessments?

I am UK-based but I guess this issue currently affects all maths educators and has probably been addressed by those how have been delivering courses through online channels for the past few years. ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

How to standardize grading across several sections of a course?

Suppose you're the instructor of a large university course split into several sections, each of which has a TA. (Think of a giant lecture-style calculus course with several hundred students that meet ...
7
votes
2answers
222 views

How can PISA released questions be used to improve the mathematical competencies of students?

The purpose of this question is to ask for your experiences using PISA released questions at classroom. How do you use them to improve the mathematical competencies of your students? How do you ...
7
votes
4answers
350 views

Do you know of any third-party math-friendly testing software?

At a previous institution, we used moodle for our learning management system, which has a fairly useful tool for creating quizzes that make it more difficult for the student to cheat. In particular, ...
7
votes
1answer
312 views

Test of level of a student for secondary school

I am looking for a test, paper based, execution time less than one hour, for an initial assessment of the math knowledge level of a secondary school student. I need to evaluate, very approximately, ...
6
votes
1answer
200 views

Timed Exams, More Generally

This question is similar to "Should I design my exams to have time-pressure or not?", but is, I think, sufficiently different to deserve its own space. Naively, there are two benefits to placing (any,...
6
votes
1answer
236 views

Measure of Improvement in Math Skills from Remediation with ALEKS

I am analyzing some data on ALEKS for my home institution (ALEKS, an acronym that stands for "Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces", is an online tutoring and assessment program that includes ...
6
votes
2answers
208 views

How do I get my middle schoolers warmed back up at the start of the year prior to giving a placement test

I'm going to be teaching small (< 10 students) but very mixed group of middle schoolers (US system, ages 11-13) who have had varying amounts of pre-algebra and algebra instruction thus far. I need ...
5
votes
1answer
540 views

Midterm in Mathematics Courses

Can someone point me to papers indicating whether or not a midterm is an important part of a course? I suspect I can find many 'experiential anecdotes' that midterms are good/bad/moot but I would ...
5
votes
1answer
137 views

Practical ways to check if a student has mastered a particular topic

I've been thinking that in an ideal world math classes would be self-paced, with a student being required to demonstrate mastery in a collection of topics and techniques in order to complete the ...
5
votes
4answers
181 views

Online Definition/Theorem Statement Quizzes

This fall I'll be teaching a standard "Introduction to Proofs" course and administration is advising us to be ready at any time to switch from in-person to fully online (or anything in ...