Monday, April 4, 2016


Work continues, of course. There is something like a month of class remaining for me, with the exams I give ending on Jedi Day (coincidentally the anniversary of my writing in this webspace). So it will not be long before my visit ends, and the Mrs., Ms. 8, and I will make the final preparations to go...elsewhere. In the meantime, though, there is much to do. As part of it, I am having my students weigh in on the form of their final exam (ain't I nice?), voting on which of four options for the exercise I am willing to write that they would collectively like--or hate least--to do. To wit:
  • A multiple choice exam, largely covering concerns of mechanics and formatting discussed in class and in assigned readings. Note that the presence of the correct answer on the page allows for distractors markedly close to correct; distractors on past multiple-choice exams have differed from the correct answer in such small details as the tense of the operative verb or the placement of a period in an MLA-style citation.
  • An essay exam asking for a brief reflective argument that treats an assignment for inclusion in a first-year writing class. An assignment not already included in the class should be proposed and justified to an audience that is in favor of the current assignment sequence but that can adjust the assignment sequence.
  • An essay exam asking for a brief rhetorical analysis of a specific example of assignment materials offered to students throughout the semester. Attention will need to be paid to both textual and paratextual features, and a copy of the assignment materials in question would be provided. The audience would be the instructor, who may well use the responses to refine assignment materials in future terms.
  • A source-annotation consisting of a correctly-formatted and complete MLA-style Works Cited entry and an effective, appropriate summary of a source to be provided by the instructor in advance of the exam. Assessment thereof would be similar to that applied to annotated bibliography entries' first two components (citation and summary), including mechanical correctness.
To encourage participation, I am offering an A+ quiz grade to students who complete the exercise in a timely manner. (Again, ain't I nice?) But I expect there will be complaints. There always are, and they make harder the work. Still, I do what I can...

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