Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Long Exam. The first one.

Made it really tricky. Some of the questions were certification level. Its not so bad, most of my students got passing scores... and the fact that it was open notes already.

But really got me was the problem solving part. Some of my students werent able to get it at all! And it was just a simple class declaration, something they've already done.

Consider this problem description:

implement a TV class that stores channel and volume. Channel can explicitly be stated, or increased or decreased by 1 (in the range 1 - 80). Volume can only be increased or decreased by 1, not directly stated (in the range 1-100). Display (print to the screen) current channel and volume when modifying...

Gosh! these students didnt even attempt to try out the problem! we've been doing object oriented programming for a month and a half now, exercises every meeting.
i've even been watching these students for a while now, made sure that they got paired with the best students in my class and watched them as they programmed.

and then im hit with this...

talked to them about it, it really seems that they're unable to get class declarations, why do we do object oriented programming. and a month and a half of this already? why didnt i see this sooner. =(

i mean, im angry at myself for not noticing their problems, and angry at them for not taking responsibility for their studies. i already paired them with the best people in the section, and allowed late machine problems so they could work on it after hours or copy from others, which i already said that they could do but be PREPARED for a time they do it by themselves.

i guess this is the time they have to have been preparing for.

augh... so frustrating.

i met with them and reminded them that my door is always open for them to talk to me if they want to, extra lessons and stuff. i also reminded them about how the next exam was more of a problem based exam than anything else.

i didnt mention the word dropping. but i leveled with them how difficult the last part of Java was to be, and that they're not ready.

they're just not ready.

my other students are really motivated learning java, some even reading up on inheritance and GUI design. they did really well on exams.

so how come other students dont just learn? i've given them all the opportunities to learn, but how come they're so behind? where does the blame lie? the teacher or the student?


At 11:11 AM, Blogger switch said...

Stop blaming yourself, and stop babying your students. If they have trouble, they should come to you. If they can't handle it, then they're better retrying the class.

If you were teaching high school, I'd be giving you ideas on how to mathematically up their grade: providing additional bonuses, dropping some of the MEs already given as bonuses, or even *shudder* curving. However, if you given your students all the opportunities, then you are not obliged to salvage their standings. There's only so much a teacher can do, and only so much a college teacher should be doing.

You and Vlad should talk. Wala ka kasi nung homecoming.

At 12:42 AM, Blogger Alfred Thompson said...

I think that a lot of students expect programming to be like playing computer games which they already know how to do. The assume that the answers will just come to them. I've also noticed that some students need a lot of hand holding until things click for them. That is the rought time where you either lose them for good or the eventually get it and their learning curve jumps.


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