Every semester, students perfrom poorly on the final exam for calculus I (MAT22X); the average is typically a D/F. Students are given an indepth review guide of all topics in the course along with the answer key that includes detailed steps on how to do each problem. I often make changes to my pedagogy, handouts, activities, exams, homework, and other assessments every semester. In Spring 17, two main things changed in my MAT221 course.
- I spent less time on some topics and more time on derivatives/integrals
- Three problems were removed from the final exam that I have had on it for years
I compared the results of my Fall 16 MAT221 course to Spring 17. The average for F16 was 61.9%; this is the norm. The average of S17 was 74.35%. While I cannot say exactly why students did better this semester due to several variables, I will continue to do as I did this semester and see if I have the same results. I will also talk to my colleague, Jennifer Shannon, to see if she is willing to remove the same three problems from her final and see if she also has improvement on her final exam.
HI Becky, Thank you for sharing your work in the classroom. You are a dedicated instructor as you are continuously working on changing methods in your classroom for improvements. Were the derivatives/integrals the areas of weakness for the students on the exam? Can you provide more information on the three questions? Why did you remove those specific questions? It will be interesting to see the results as you colloborate with other math faculty.