Testing – Creating A Community of Learners

October 7, 2010 at 4:16 pm 1 comment

This week I tried a different testing technique in my elementary algebra class. I had spent only two class days covering systems of two linear equations – one day on using the substitution and addition (or elimination) methods and a second day on word problems involving systems of equations. I knew this was a little on the quick side, but this is often the case when a class meets only twice a week for 2 hours a day.

I began the class with a group portion of the exam. There were 4 word problems for each group, and I gave them 20 minutes to complete the problems. By design this was more than enough time, most groups were able to finish in 10 minutes or less. The groups were to take the remainder of the time to make sure that each person in the group completely understood these problems.

Then the class then had 1 hour to take their individual exams. The exam also had 4 word problems on it. It will be interesting to see how the individual performance will be on those problems compared to the group problems. I had a chance to talk to a few students after the exam and they told me that the group portion really helped them. They felt that it was a great warm-up, and it allowed them to get their questions answered. I’ll let you know how it goes.


Do you have any experience with group exams? If so, please share your experience by leaving a comment or reaching me through the contact page at my web site – georgewoodbury.com.


I am a math instructor at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA. Each Thursday I will be blogging about the importance of community in the classroom. If there’s a particular topic you’d like me to address, or if you have a question or a comment, please let me know. You can reach me through the contact page on my website – http://georgewoodbury.com.


Entry filed under: community, Math. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Solving Systems of Equations by Addition / Elimination Course Redesign in Math?

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