Wednesday, February 14, 2007

What Kinda Weird Bell Curve is This?

Grade breakdown from the first exam: 8 points of possible extra credit
A=21 (10 over 100%)

Ok people who have taken statistics...what does this tell me about the exam design? Because I have no freakin' idea.


Dr. Crazy said...

Ok, I've never taken stats, so I've no idea what it *really* means, but practically I'd say it means:

1) You don't need to include extra credit options on this exam.

2) You might get a bit more specific in some of the questions - some of the questions may be a bit obvious or easy to fudge.

Also, though, this may indicate that half of the class really studied their asses off. Sometimes one just doesn't get a perfect curve - better to have it happen in this direction than in the "you all fail!" direction, I say.

Nels said...

Those who believe that course averages should be a C or B- or whatever would be appalled. I, on the other hand, allow for lots of revision and do all I can to give students the chance to do well while still maintaining a level of rigor. Knowing you, I bet this just shows you have created a space that enables them to learn and succeed.

I dream of the class where every student earns an A, really earns an A. I try to create classes where that can happen, but I tend to hover around a B no matter what.

Horace said...

Well, disclosure time, actually, because there's a very strong correlation between poor performance and poor attendance.

But I can say that that high number of A's does indicate high performing, at least for the purposes of this exam. And I am rarely ever a pushover for grades, since my average GPA has been between 2.5 and 2.95 for every section I've taught at this institution.

V said...

It was an easy exam. You do not need to include extra credit. 24 people did not study. Eight of them got lucky. It has happened to me before.

Musey_Me said...

I don't think you need to worry about having a bell curve. Assessment should be for you and the students to tell whether they have mastered the materials. If you feel like the test asked the questions you care about and the students did well, it means that the stuff they're doing in your course is helping them learn - and that's the goal. The fact that attendance is correlated with failure is good - that means that you are doing something in class that is helping them learn. Just my 2 cents.