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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.

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Presentation on theme: "Meet AndyMeet Andy  Got D’s in College Algebra and Trig, “Flukes!”  Took up through Precalculus in High School, “No Problem!”  CC instructor allows."— Presentation transcript:

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2 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…

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

4 Motivation #1: No More “Scratch Work”

5 Motivation #2: No More Haunting Errors

6 The Coup de GraceThe Coup de Grace

7 Zach’s PictureZach’s Picture

8 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

9 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!

10 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

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

12 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!

13 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

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

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

16 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

17 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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