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Published byKeven Cobbett Modified about 1 year ago

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Meet AndyMeet Andy Got D’s in College Algebra and Trig, “Flukes!” Took up through Precalculus in High School, “No Problem!” CC instructor allows Andy into Precalculus, with warning Andy barely passes Precalculus; ekes out a C in Calculus 1 Flounders miserably in Calculus 2, drops course Finally succumbs to nagging and takes College Algebra again in Summer 2013…

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Why Andy Can’t Pass Calculus: …Andy wrote this on yesterday’s test

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Motivation #1: No More “Scratch Work”

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Motivation #2: No More Haunting Errors

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The Coup de GraceThe Coup de Grace

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Zach’s PictureZach’s Picture

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Partial Credit: A Fundamentally Biased Endeavor “…but Professor Plum said this was OK…” Cumulative Intolerance for Famous Mistakes Some “careless” errors make a much easier problem Double/Triple/Quadruple Jeopardy The Luck of The Spot Grading Fatigue

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Reasons NOT to Allow Partial Credit Potentially devastating results in the real world Computation is just as important as conceptual work Strong incentive to double-check work False representation to student False representation to future instructors Likelihood of inequity and inconsistency ...but it makes grading easy!

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Reasons TO Allow Partial Credit Encourages students to keep trying Strong incentive for students to organize written work Concepts are more important than computation Students like it, expect it Graders learn more about students Helps instructor’s grade distribution Makes the grader feel good

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Sample Student ErrorsSample Student Errors Every question is worth 5 points Consider the course Assume errors are “in character” for the student

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Things Instructors Can DoThings Instructors Can Do Decide on partial credit points before grading. No partial credit for core objective errors ( possible exceptions: very new or very difficult objectives ) Limited (or no?) partial credit for recent objective errors Consider partial credit for tertiary errors ( unless offensive) Grade all page 1’s, then all page 2’s, etc. for consistency Comments without penalty are instructive, too!

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Things Students Can DoThings Students Can Do Make your strategy clear to the reader; include words! Write what you would do if you weren’t stuck. Rely on what makes sense, not what you remember Maintain concentration for the entire problem Practice excellence on homework Pay attention to the directions & notation Apply the “sniff test” to answers

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What Works for You?What Works for You? Share opinions with colleagues!

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Thanks for Coming!Thanks for Coming! Anne P Vance, Austin Community College

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Sources & CreditsSources & Credits Sean Riley, Miramar College tml tml Apex Math partial-credit-be-awarded-on-math-testshttp://www.apex-math.com/314/should- partial-credit-be-awarded-on-math-tests Far Side cartoon by Gary Larson “Andy” photo from

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About MeAbout Me Native Texan; University of Texas “faculty brat” B.A. and M.A. in Mathematics Education from UTexas High School Math Teacher at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School (Austin, TX) for 11 years Associate Professor of Mathematics at Austin Community College for 12 years (and counting!)

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