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  1. #1
    Pokemon Master Darth_Firebolt's Avatar
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    Open letter to schools everywhere

    Dear academia,

    Stop with this multiple choice tomfoolery and give a useful, practical final exam. No more of this "best answer" shenanigans, either. And cut that "question depends on the word 'most' or 'always'" dicking around out, too. I know how to do this stuff, but you wouldn't know it from my finals! Never have I ever had to bubble in an A, B, C, D, or E to get a paycheck!

    Sincerely,

    Jason

    seriously, all 4 of our exams in Business Computing have been practical exams requiring you to use Word, Excel, or Access. then on the final we have 100 multiple choice questions about nitpicky stuff we never covered in class because it has no bearing on whether or not you can use the program.
    </rant>

  2. #2
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    I had a prof for Physical Metallurgy back in the day (Dr. Forgeng, RIP) who did the multiple-multiple choice thing all the time. There'd be answers A, B, C, D, and then E would be "A and C" and F would be "A, C, and D". Man, I hated that, especially because I'm really good at second guessing myself. Great class, though.
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  3. #3
    Free Velo Vol! Velo Vol's Avatar
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    That takes more work.

  4. #4
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    This thread really needs a multiple choice poll.............
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  5. #5
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    multiple choice is faster to mark, because of scantron.
    they're also easy to screw up.

    most exams I've taken had a multiple choice part and a written part.
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  6. #6
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    I had a high school physics prof, Mrs. Scott who did multiple multiple choice a different way. There would be 4 to 5 options, but rather than use up some of them with E = 'All of the above' or 'A and B', each would be its own answer. You had to circle all of the ones that were correct. Sometimes it was one or two, other times it was most or all, and some times it was none of them and to get points you had to leave it blank. She figured the standard single answer "multiple guess" was too easy, and honestly I think she was right. In some of my high school classes I figured out how to read the test without learning the material. I never would have been able to do that without multiple choice.

  7. #7
    Found my way <3 2 Ride's Avatar
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    As an educator, I have to say that I hate multiple choice exams. IF I had a choice in the matter, I would never give one. They do not tell me whether a student really knows the material or is just good at guessing. However, I am not free to make that choice. I am required to give 6 multiple choice exams this year to my students. You can thank the department heads and administration for that.
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  8. #8
    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by <3 2 Ride View Post
    However, I am not free to make that choice. I am required to give 6 multiple choice exams this year to my students. You can thank the department heads and administration for that.
    This is sad. What did teachers do before scantrons?

  9. #9
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by black_box View Post
    This is sad. What did teachers do before scantrons?
    Spent time grading.

  10. #10
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth_Firebolt View Post
    Dear academia,

    Stop with this multiple choice tomfoolery and give a useful, practical final exam. No more of this "best answer" shenanigans, either. And cut that "question depends on the word 'most' or 'always'" dicking around out, too. I know how to do this stuff, but you wouldn't know it from my finals! Never have I ever had to bubble in an A, B, C, D, or E to get a paycheck!

    Sincerely,

    Jason

    seriously, all 4 of our exams in Business Computing have been practical exams requiring you to use Word, Excel, or Access. then on the final we have 100 multiple choice questions about nitpicky stuff we never covered in class because it has no bearing on whether or not you can use the program.
    </rant>
    It's because you're taking Business Computing. Try some real courses...

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    <3 2 Ride,what is stopping you from making up six five question multiple choice exams to be given in the first two weeks of class then follow with real exams for the rest of the year?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by overthehillmedi View Post
    <3 2 Ride,what is stopping you from making up six five question multiple choice exams to be given in the first two weeks of class then follow with real exams for the rest of the year?
    I wonder if they are standardized tests required by the district or state. Ms. MillCreek the elementary school teacher has to administer such tests periodically. It is part of the data collection required by No Child Left Behind. If the school or district does not show that they meet certain criteria, they lose funding.
    Regards, MillCreek
    Snohomish County, Washington USA

  13. #13
    Pokemon Master Darth_Firebolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
    It's because you're taking Business Computing. Try some real courses...
    try to not be an ass.
    this isn't the only class that I am having this problem with, it's just the one that stressed me enough to see if anyone else had this problem in school. most of my teachers are doing this, and it is killing my grades. I had 4 a's and one b before finals started, and because of these damn multiple choice tests, i will be happy to end the semester with a freaking 3.0 GPA. I will most likely lose my scholarship because of these finals alone. Darth_Firebolt is not a happy camper.

  14. #14
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Professors who administer pure scantron tests are shirking more than working.
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  15. #15
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth_Firebolt View Post
    try to not be an ass.
    this isn't the only class that I am having this problem with, it's just the one that stressed me enough to see if anyone else had this problem in school. most of my teachers are doing this, and it is killing my grades. I had 4 a's and one b before finals started, and because of these damn multiple choice tests, i will be happy to end the semester with a freaking 3.0 GPA.
    I'm one of the ones that does extremely well on multiple choice tests. My mom was taking a license exam after getting her degree and while studying it, asked me a few questions. Knowing less than the basics of her degree, I was able to guess all of correct answers. I hate multiple choice and it's given everywhere. It's so much more beneficial to both the student and the teacher to give essay type questions. It forces the student to actually learn the material and it lets the teacher know what material isn't sinking in. It does seem to be the way of life, though.

    Can you identify the actual problem you're having? Is it reading all of the answers slowly enough to comprehend their meanings, etc? If you can identify the problems, then the solutions are just around the corner and because these types of exams are only increasing in numbers, it will benefit to find solutions.

  16. #16
    Pokemon Master Darth_Firebolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
    Can you identify the actual problem you're having? Is it reading all of the answers slowly enough to comprehend their meanings, etc? If you can identify the problems, then the solutions are just around the corner and because these types of exams are only increasing in numbers, it will benefit to find solutions.
    the problem is the teacher teaches us how to do things without knowing any of the nitpicky crap.
    for instance, the PMT function in excel has 5 arguments. everyone knows that. when you click on the formula button like the teacher taught us, it describes each argument and assigns each one a box. so on the final, one of the multiple choice questions will inevitibly ask "What is the third argument in the PMT function?" and nobody will know. Or the question will ask what you use to search a spreadsheet for "March" and the options will include "Mar*" AND "Mar??" which are both correct. My problem is the final exam is nothing like the other tests in the course, and the details on the finals were never emphasized/ made out to be of any importance during the course.

    it's just frustrating because when you have a 97% in the class, you can obviously do the work required to complete the course. I studied all of our quizzes and tests for over 5 hours for just this one class, and i wound up with a 78% in the class because the final was weighted so heavily.

  17. #17
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth_Firebolt View Post
    the problem is the teacher teaches us how to do things without knowing any of the nitpicky crap.
    for instance, the PMT function in excel has 5 arguments. everyone knows that. when you click on the formula button like the teacher taught us, it describes each argument and assigns each one a box. so on the final, one of the multiple choice questions will inevitibly ask "What is the third argument in the PMT function?" and nobody will know. Or the question will ask what you use to search a spreadsheet for "March" and the options will include "Mar*" AND "Mar??" which are both correct. My problem is the final exam is nothing like the other tests in the course, and the details on the finals were never emphasized/ made out to be of any importance during the course.

    it's just frustrating because when you have a 97% in the class, you can obviously do the work required to complete the course. I studied all of our quizzes and tests for over 5 hours for just this one class, and i wound up with a 78% in the class because the final was weighted so heavily.
    I'd take it to the teacher. Explain that this appears to be more in depth than was taught or hinted at was going to be on the final. I'd ask for some hints in preparing for other finals and maybe ask for the class average.

    It's doubtful the teacher will change the grade, but then you'll have a pretty good understanding on how to study for finals similar to it.

  18. #18
    Mrs. DataJunkie Luddite's Avatar
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    I'd rather have M/C than paragraph answers or 3 goddamn essay questions, thank ya very much. Ugh!

  19. #19
    Found my way <3 2 Ride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by overthehillmedi View Post
    <3 2 Ride,what is stopping you from making up six five question multiple choice exams to be given in the first two weeks of class then follow with real exams for the rest of the year?
    Quote Originally Posted by MillCreek View Post
    I wonder if they are standardized tests required by the district or state. Ms. MillCreek the elementary school teacher has to administer such tests periodically. It is part of the data collection required by No Child Left Behind. If the school or district does not show that they meet certain criteria, they lose funding.
    Exactly right. There are 6 district wide common assessments that I have to give throughout the year. We scan them into a system so we can compare them with all students in the district. Thank you GWB!
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  20. #20
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    got accused of cheating on a test that mixed m/c with short answer/fill in the blank. the prof used to hand out 4 different tests and my version had a m/c question about some greek character in a play, and the next question was about the same and the correct guys name was choice "A" above. of course I answered "A". the prof got a good laugh when I showed him what I did.
    sigless at the moment....

  21. #21
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    Chances are, the reason that the final is multiple choice is that they have to have their grades in within a very short time period after the final exam is taken. Grading 60-200 practical exercise exams in that time period is not possible unless the prof has several TA's that he can hand the work off to. Blame the system (at least some of the time)
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  22. #22
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    There's too much theoretical psychology involved in the development of curriculum today -- unlike the real world. THAT'S the problem.

    We as a society need to be teaching our kids what they need to know to exist, perform, and excel in the real world, not some ethereal realm where diagramming a sentence matters.

    The oft-referred-to "3 R's" was plenty good enough for decades, and suddenly, there was a swelling movement of psych that said we shouldn't spank our kids cuz it traumatized them, we shouldn't have ABCDF grades, cuz it interfered with their self-esteem, and other crap. (Of course, I'm also tired of the garbage being fed a certain segment of society, that being that getting an education will turn them white.)

    Teach kids to read, spell, do math, and operate computers (unavoidable these days), and save the other theoretical crap for later.

    Curriculum content needs to stay current, of course, we're not living in 1970; but the atmosphere in the learning environment could stand a healthy does of 1970. And as far as these junior thugs who want to bully teachers, well, there's always juvie.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Caspar_s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth_Firebolt View Post
    it describes each argument and assigns each one a box. so on the final, one of the multiple choice questions will inevitibly ask "What is the third argument in the PMT function?" and nobody will know.
    I hate it when computer systems are taught this way. Then something changes and everyone has to be retaught because they just blindly follow the usual way instead of actually reading what is one screen. Or instead of looking through the options you get asked how to do something. Most of the time I have no idea, but two seconds looking through the options and I find it.

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