Web-based examinations

Robinson, Dr. David drobinson at bellarmine.edu
Fri Feb 16 16:27:13 EST 2001

The way I use PowerPoint on exams is to put together a short presentation
(no more than 10 slides or so), and put a letter, in large font, on the
right side of each slide (A > G for instance) and then add a digital
photograph that I have copied & pasted from the WWW, or took with my digital
camera. Then I add questions on their written exam about each of the
photos.....questions like: 

SLIDE A)  Is this a pinnately- or a palmately-compound leaf? 

SLIDE B)  What biome is represented here? 

SLIDE C)  Do you think this is a monocot or a dicot? 

SLIDE D)  Is this epigeous emergence or is hypgeous emergence? 

SLIDE E)  How many years old is the plant this cross-section is 

SLIDE F)  Is this micrograph a cross-section of a root or of a stem? 

SLIDE G)  Do you think this photograph (of a leaf) is from a C3 plant or
from a C4 plant? etc....

Not to say that my questions are multiple choice like this because they are
often short-answer....and I am much more careful in my wording... (I am just
giving some examples of what I show them)....

I still ask traditional exam questions in addition to the Powerpoint
questions. I time the PowerPoint presentation so that each photo shows on
the screen for about 10 seconds and I make it loop around continually during
the entire exam period, so they have lots of time to study them.

I like testing on photographs like this because it challenges students to be
able to recognize "real world" situations, rather than being asked to only
write-out descriptions of things like biomes, Krantz anatomy, epigeous
germination, etc. Young people these days are very visual, and it seems like
they adapt to this type of testing pretty well.

Dave Robinson, Bellarmine University.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Perry, Jim [SMTP:jperry at uwc.edu]
> Sent:	Thursday, February 15, 2001 1:50 PM
> To:	'Robinson, Dr. David'; plant-ed at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
> Subject:	RE: Web-based examinations
> David,
> Can you be more specific on how you use them? Can your students answer by
> modifying the Power Point and sending it back to you?
> I use Power Points in my course too, but have not thought of how it could
> be part of an exam. Remember, the idea is to try to avoid setting up lots
> of apparatus and microscopes to create a practical examination.
> jim
> 	-----Original Message-----
> 	From: Robinson, Dr. David [mailto:drobinson at bellarmine.edu]
> 	Sent: Thursday, February 15, 2001 8:22 AM
> 	To: 'jperry at uwc.edu'; plant-ed at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
> 	Subject: RE: Web-based examinations
> 	I routinely use Microsoft Powerpoint on botany examinations...its a
> great way to get students to learn to recognize basic anatomical and
> morphological structures. It sure beats the old-fashioned method of
> photocopying line drawings onto the exam itself and asking "Whats this?".
> Plus, those line drawings are getting harder and harder to find, now that
> textbooks all use color figures and photos instead.
> 	I mostly copy-and-paste the photos from various websites. Powerpoint
> is incredibly easy to use and very powerful. 
> 	D. Robinson, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY 
> 		-----Original Message----- 
> 	From:   jperry at uwc.edu [SMTP:jperry at uwc.edu] 
> 	Sent:   Wednesday, February 14, 2001 5:51 PM 
> 	To:     plant-ed at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk 
> 	Subject:        Web-based examinations 
> 		Hi folks, 
> 		A recent article in American Biology Teacher prompts me to
> post this message. The article is about "stopping your students from
> making drawings in class by using a digital camera attached to a
> microscope." My first reaction was to fire off a nasty letter about the
> authors not realizing the value of putting a pencil to paper. But I
> digress and show my prejudice.
> 		I'm wondering if there is a piece of software that would
> allow a prof to place images on a web site, and have students take exams
> (lab practicals?) sitting at a computer. I use Blackboard to a limited
> extent, but I don't think it will do what I want. Ideally, the prof would
> not need be a programmer or spend as much time figuring out how to do this
> as s/he did doing a graduate degree. It seems to me that this might be a
> means to give some exams without the problem of setting up a room full of
> apparatus and microscopes. 
> 		Does any of the incredible expertise out there have any
> suggestions> 
> 		jim 
> 		James W. Perry, Ph.D.
> 	CEO/Campus Dean
> 	Professor of Biological Sciences
> 	University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley
> 	1478 Midway Road
> 	Menasha, WI 54852-1297
> 	920.832.2610 (voice)
> 	920.832.2674 (FAX)
> 	www.uwfox.uwc.edu 
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