June 12 Day 96: Finals. Part III

I really wanted to be able to report that all projects were graded and final grades were submitted. But I haven’t been able to make myself sit down to finish. Grades are not due until 5 pm on Tuesday June 16. So there is time, right?

To procrastinate, I will answer the question about the image from June 10.

While recent posts have focused on my Matrix Algebra class, this image refers to my Precalculus I course. Colleague, Erik Tou, reimaged precalculus at UW Tacoma through mastery- and project-based learning. He restructured the course to support continual improvement and development of growth mindsets. Because of the switch to remote teaching and all the concerns that follow from that, I embraced his vision wholeheartedly.

The work to transition the course was smoothed by Erik’s impeccable organization but the workload of creating and grading multiple assessments for the first time cannot be underestimated.

The final exam retested 18 of the 40 standards from the course, three standards from each of the categories: function fundamentals, quadratic functions, polynomial functions, rational functions, exponential functions, and logarithmic functions. During the quarter, standards were graded as “passed” or “not passed.” The final exam was the first time that partial credit was assigned to problem solutions. In the left half of the image above, a circle represents a standard passed on the final exam. On the right is a list of the forty standards where the students indicated which had been passed previously. Provided the list was included and accurate, it became a simple matter to determine the new standards passed during the final exam, indicated by a yellow highlight on the left.

One important highly useful iPad feature that I only learned this quarter was how to have two open and active windows as seen above. I regularly have student work in one window and the grading key (or grade book) in the other.

I will continue the mastery-based approach the next time I have the opportunity to teach Precalculus I but I am so grateful for the break. This will be the first weekend in a long time that I am not grading three different assessments for the students in this course.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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