I have just finished my first teaching class of MAT082 at EMCC. It was a nice experience for me. But there is one thing I felt like proposing to the structure of the course. I think there should be a midterm at the middle of the semester that covers half the syllabus (at least) and the exam format should be the same as finals. There are couple of positives in this :
1. Students will be introduced with the exam format
2. If the load of chapters are being reduced by half in the final then the students will have better chance to do good in it.
3. Giving the midterm at the middle will help the students "revise" the first chapters thoroughly, which will help them understand the later chapters more easily.
I think we can incorporate the midterms for some of the courses for a trial run. I think it will bring positive results.
Qazi - You have set the stafe for a great CATS. Why not create and implement your own midterm next semester? After administering it, and at the end of the semester, see if your students' performance on the final exam (as well as their completion rate, etc.) improves. If so, then you have some data to back up your feelings.
Thanks Peter for your comment. I will try to incorporate it with the department's consent.
I don't want to speak for Becky and the rest of the Math faculty, but it seems that they would want to encourage innovation when there is a good rationale for doing so. I also incorporate a midterm in my class and do so partly on the theory that it forces students to think comprehensively about the first half of the semester so that they have a stronger platform on which to learn in the second half. You may even consider making it an online, open-book, open-group midterm if the purpose is to promote learning more than it is to assess individual learning.
Thanks Erik for you reply. I am actually not teaching anymore. I got a full time job. However, I do appreciate and I think you are right. The purpose should be to promote learning and also to encourage brain storming rather than loading with a semester full of topics in the final. I wish someday it will be implemented by someone. I wish EMCC and all the community colleges best of luck, specally my students.