pH and pKa, reading...

LK Ista lkista at
Thu Feb 12 01:00:55 EST 1998

On 11 Feb 1998, Cynthia M. Galloway wrote:

> Julie Frugoli wrote...
> >More on this, since the incident happened this AM and is still fresh in  my
> mind....
> >
> >My aerobics instructor,a 21 year old colege student, was commenting  this
> >morning about her certification, which she recently renewed.  This is no
> >difficult test-the one day workshop prides itself on a 90% pass rate.  My
> >instructor commented on how difficult she thought the multiple choice test
> >was-"not only did they  have A, B, C and D, but 
> >A&B,C&D-like, you had to KNOW the answer!"  All I could do was wince!  I
> >guess a test is no longer supposed to measure one's knowledge of a subject :)
> I am known for my multiple-multiple choice questions.  I also have been
> known to say "Mark any and all that apply".  I don't ask this much anymore
> because the outcome is generally a disaster.  I do want to grade them on the
> content, not on if they can figure out the test.  I generally have a mix of
> multiple choice, matching, short answer, and short essay.
> At my previous school I asked True-False and asked them to change the False
> statements to true by adding or subtracting a word.  The chairperson of the
> department said I was being unfair to the athletes, since they couldn't read
> the instructions but could answer T or F!  

This made me laugh in recognition. At one place I taught, I also used the
multiple-multiple choice method on a large class (I always thought those
were more interesting to take). It was fine until I was teaching
microbiology to engineers. Then I got a note from the engineering dean
saying that this was an unacceptable format. "There should be one clear
answer to each question in a multiple test exam. Any other form confuses
the students" It was also not okay to ask "negative questions" like "Which
of the following is *not* a component of the Gram postive cell wall?".
Evidently that confused them as well. Fortunately my department chair went
to bat for me and informed the engineering dean that this was offered in
the department of biology and the questions of the sort I was asking were
not unusual, but then again biology majors were probably better at
reasoning ;-). There were no further hassles.


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