28 September 2017

New assignment

I am taking an old module back again! It was the first I had even been module leader on. And my first full lecture. The previous year, James has taught it. Now it was my turn again! I'm talking about 'Ice and Oceans'.

In the olden days, the students got some 11 or 12 lectures, and a day in the field. They would also have to do an assignment in which they would have to rummage through the most recent IPCC report, looking for information. And they would have to write an essay. The IPCC work tended to be done badly.

My colleague Tom, who also teaches on this module, had suggested we change the assessment of the module. He said the students were unhappy about having to write an essay before they do the 'science communication' module. In that they practice essay writing. They do that in the first year as well, but somehow that doesn't seem to count. He suggested we scrap the essay, and replace it with an exercise that will train the skills they need for the IPCC exercise. And I figured we may as well!

It was me, of course, largely making the assignment. Tom is good at organizing things that way. But that way I can do what I think is right. I had already designed a lot of questions in early spring, but now it was time to make some more, and turn them into an online test.

The test is in two parts; one part by Tom in which he just tries to get the students thinking about, well, ice and oceans. And then my part in which they get ask very specific questions on specific journal articles. I see students be sloppy with data way too often! Giving the wrong reference, getting the number wrong, giving a seasonal average while claiming it is an annual average, and so forth. So now they have to be precise to get the right answer!

So will this work? We will have to see. Many things can go wrong! But they may go right too. We will have to see!

No comments: