I have created a scoreboard for the game. I take the average of the scores for each side (Villains/Agents) and use those two numbers in a google spreadsheet to generate a basic pie chart. The great thing about the chart is that it can be embedded into a webpage and will always display the current version. So all I have to do is update the spreadsheet once per week. This is trivial with the use of the Moodle grade feature.

The theme I’m using for my courses (Aardvark) also has a drop down menu bar. Today I found the php file I needed to edit to embed the scoreboard. The result is awesome!

Focused on Marks

I thought this method of teaching would result in a more interactive classroom with students learning from doing physics rather than listening to me talk about physics. Instead most of them spend each night watching the YouTube videos I’ve made and only a few have done any of the investigations or labs. If they aren’t going to be graded for doing it they won’t do it. :(

For next semester I plan on revamping the investigations. Rather than just posting them on Moodle as a page I will make them an activity. I will make them basic text entry activities or wiki entries so that they have to upload their observations. Each one can then be assigned to a standard and would count towards mastery of the standard.

I also plan to move towards a more refined grading scheme. Instead of each standard being scored out of three I will make it clear that their score for each standard will be based on the evidence they submit that they’ve mastered this objective:

Score Description
0 You have not attempted this objective
1 You submitted only one piece of evidence or your submitted evidence displays lack of basic understanding of the objective
2 Your multiple submissions but many still display major misunderstandings of the objective
3 You’ve submitted some evidence of mastery but still make minor errors
4 You’ve demonstrated on more than one occasion that you have mastered this objective

I will keep the same 29 objectives from this semester. The first objective, write a formal lab report, will be graded using a different rubric and will be scored out of 18. The other 28 objectives will use the rubric above and will have a maximum score of 4 for a total of 112. Add this to the 18 from the lab objective for a total of 130 for the course. This also makes the labs worth more (14%) of the overall percentage and will force students to take them more seriously.

The First Test

Last night my class wrote their first test of this semester. There were questions from all 29 learning objectives (except for the lab report objective) and they could attempt as many or as few as they felt comfortable with. Since we’ve only been in class for three weeks I didn’t expect much but that they would at least be able to attempt the objectives on adding and subtracting vectors, relative motion, projectile motion and perhaps a few would get to forces.

I was very disappointed when the first student to hand in their test attempted NONE of the questions. When I asked her why she hadn’t tried any she told me that she’d only read the first two chapters of the text book. Seriously? Three weeks and that’s all you’ve done? Those chapters don’t even cover any material that she shouldn’t already know from grade 11. Another girl seemed to be trying but got nowhere with the questions.

I’m starting to feel like this experiment is failing. Perhaps I’ve given the class too much freedom. I’ve tried to make sure people were moving along. They all seemed to be working on the practice problems and watching the videos. Some were attempting the missions but not all were. I mention in class where I think they should be and post the same information in the course discussion online.

Maybe I’m just letting a few poor performers cast a shadow over the class as a whole.

There was one bright spot in the class. One girl attempted 11 of the objectives and has already shown mastery of  7 of them.