most in-class exams, I will include a battery of short
question or identification items. The
instructions for this section will be something like:
questions. 50 points.
Answer 7 of the following
9 questions in a detailed paragraph. You should carefully explain the key
concepts or reading assignment titles in the question. Your answers should demonstrate that you know what
the question is asking and what its significance is. Please
provide as many concrete examples from the readings as you answer questions.
score identification items and short answer questions using a 5-to-10 point
scale, based on the following criteria:
points. The answer is left blank
or is completely wrong in a way that indicates both that the concept/term is not
understood by the student and that the course materials related to the
concept/term have not
been reviewed with any care whatsoever.
points. The answer is mostly or
completely wrong; however, the student has provided some bit of information
related to the concept/term that suggests that s/he has a general idea
about where the concept fits into the larger scheme of the course even if s/he
cannot define the concept and explain its significance.
points. A “C” answer defines the
concept/term correctly and provides a basic idea of its significance.
A “C” answer fails to address (or does so inaccurately) major dimensions
of a concept/term, but still demonstrates that a student has made a minimum of effort to review and understand the class
materials related to the concept/term.
points. A “B” answer
identifies and accurately explains most or all key aspects of the
concept/term. The answer also describes the term’s relationship to major
themes and topics in the course so that it is clear that the student grasps
the larger significance of the term.
points. An “A” answer
goes beyond correctly defining the concept and accurately explaining its
relationship to major class topics. An “A” answer provides
examples and multiple specific references to course readings and seminar
discussions, indicating that the student thoroughly understands and can
apply the concept/term.
points. An “A-plus”
identification answer is a model response. An A+ answer
explains clearly all major aspects of a concept/term, and it provides many
examples from the course readings and seminars, thus showing that the key materials related to the
concept have been mastered by the student.
Answers that fall somewhere between two categories are assigned a score
corresponding to the half-point between the two categories (e.g., 8.5).
calculate grades for the identification section of an exam by multiplying the
average item score by the total points awarded for the section. As an example, a
student who averaged a 7.3 out of ten points on an identification section worth
40 total points would earn 30 points (73 percent x 40 points = 29.2 points,
which I would round up to 30 points).
Mark Setzler, 2000-2007. The
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