CV.3 (A) I can solve problems involving average speed and average velocity.
That learning goal is the thorn in the sides of many of my students right now.
They took their midterm exam last week and many missed the question associated with that goal. The (A) denotes that it is a core goal. Which means that, based on this grading scale:
their quarter grade cannot go above 69 until all core goals are met.
I handed the exams back in class yesterday. Naturally, many students wanted to reassess on the spot. Since I have an archive of quizzes from previous years, it was easy for me to print out a bunch and let them have at it.
And most of them missed it again on the reassessment. No surprise there, really. Without any remediation, it was just another shot in the dark.
So as an experiment, I posted the following to our class’s Edmodo page today:
Does CV.3 have you Down? If so, do the following by Monday:
(1) Explain, in detail, the difference between average speed and average velocity. Simply writing the two equations won’t be sufficient.
(2) Describe in detail a situation where an object’s average speed and its average velocity have the same value.
(3) Describe in detail a situation where an object’s average speed and its average velocity have different values.
(4) Create your own physics problem involving average speed and average velocity that is NOT a simple “plug-and-chug” type problem. (For example, “A car travels 50 miles north in 2 hours. What is its average speed and velocity?” is NOT acceptable.) Write up both the problem and a complete solution. Feel free to use pictures, graphs (even video) as part of your problem. Check out this link for non-”plug-and-chug” problem types: http://tycphysics.org/TIPERs/tipersdefn.htm
(5) Cite all resources (classmates, parents, books, web pages, videos, etc.) you used. (It doesn’t have to be in proper MLA format. A simple list is fine.)
Submit you work HERE on Edmodo. You should upload a file (word, PDF, etc.). The work must be YOUR OWN. I can tell when “collaboration” is really copying.
I hope this provides both the necessary remediation and a unique opportunity to reassess beyond simple quiz questions. I am really excited to see what kind of problems they write. I have done student problem writing in the past, but was never pleased with the results. Perhaps by requiring them to create a TIPER problem, we can push past equation memorization and towards understanding.
This scenario has also raised a few more unanswered questions: Why do I have this goal in my course in the first place? Why do my students keep missing it even though all quizzes (and the midterm) are open notebook? And if so many students are missing it, is it really a “core” goal?