After a harrowing weekend of grading exams and lab reports, I’m kinda sorta done. All that’s left is the potential for revising lab reports, and an optional final exam (it replaces your lowest exam score; it’s more of a hedge for students who had one bad day or an unavoidable absence). Today I’m handing everything back with a summary of their tentative final grade (cue howls and gnashing and wailing), and doing a post-mortem of the last exam, which had the standard bimodal grade distribution — either students sailed through it, laughing at how easy it was, or they missed key concepts and melted down completely (cue more howls, wailing, etc.).
The results do rather mess up my plans for the last lecture on Wednesday. I was hoping to do something more advanced and give them a peek at where they can go with genetics, but instead I think I’m going to have to pick 20% of the class up off the floor and review the basics, so they can possibly pass the course with a successful surge on the final. That’s disappointing, but I have to make sure people who pass my course are at least somewhat capable on the topic.
Anyway, the current statistics: the mean on the last exam was the lowest so far this term, at 66%, or roughly a C-. Overall in the course 4 students so far, out of 31, have earned an A. A few more might join those exalted ranks by doing well on the final.
Also, more fun: today is the day for student evaluations. I try to do this after I’ve broken the news to them about their tentative final grade, which is probably a poor strategy for getting good evals but I like to think it makes for more honest ones.