Saturday, 27 April 2013

I Love Midterms and Finals

From ed.ac.uk
Midterm week just finished. I have to say I really love midterms and finals. It's a bit of a break for me. I know that some teachers get these weeks off. They write the exams, but don't have to proctor / invigilate them. Some of them have it even better, they have their TA do everything: write, proctor, and grade.

I have to do everything myself, but I don't mind. I like midterms and finals because it's a bit of a break from teaching. In the past when I taught writing, we also got one class off for grading. So if our class met twice a week, during midterms and finals we had the exam one day and I got the second day to grade, which was definitely needed.

I'm also able to spend more time in the office grading and catching up on things. Exams often take a bit less time than teaching. Although I plan for each oral exam to last 15 minutes, some students talk a lot less so that means I can relax between students.

This time around most of my exams have been oral exams and presentations, so I didn't get a day off for grading. It's still fun though. I put students in groups of three for oral exams and it's nice to be able to talk one-to-one with students. Smaller groups means less fear. I'm also able to gauge their language better and give them feedback; something that's hard to do in a classroom.

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