Sunday, March 01, 2009

Please Come to Class

I'm working on some stuff with grades, hoping to be able to give my students progress reports next week.

The Calculus Circus meets in a big group in a lecture hall two days a week and then in a group of 20 with the TA one day a week. I don't have reliable attendance data for the big group because the new clicker software sucks. (Hypothesis: all clicker software sucks. I'm hoping that if we stick with this clicker software that I can get "developer" status and write my own software that does what I want.) The sessions with the TA are 75 minutes long; the TA will go over homework, and the students will take a quiz and do a worksheet.

Of the seven students who have missed more than half of the sessions with the TA (based on the lack of quiz/worksheet scores), it seems to break down as follows: One of them has not taken any exams. (This student hasn't dropped -- I recognize this student showing up to lecture every once in a while.) One has score solid As on both exams. Of the other five, four of them have failed both exams (including scores like 16 and 3 -- the lowest scores in the entire class), and the fifth failed one exam and just barely crossed the C-/C boundary on the other.

Furthermore, 90% of my F-students are either in the above-mentioned group or else people who didn't bother to take one of the exams. F-students who show up regularly and who take the exams? Rare.

If you have crap going on in your life that makes it impossible for you to come to class, this is not the semester to be taking calculus. Otherwise, you need to be going to class.