Picture the scene: Tuesday, I’m teaching.  I remind my students of the quiz coming up on Thursday and say (twice), “This quiz will be open notes, so be sure that all of your notes are in order and that you’ve been keeping up with everything.” I know this makes me come across as a softie, but I think that quizzes should be used as a pre-test check-up, hence I don’t assign a high point value.  If they aren’t sufficiently up to speed, now is the time to find out, right?

Thursday, the class arrives, I remind them that the quiz is open notes, and I distribute the quiz.  As far as I can tell, everyone has notes and uses them. They take around 10-15 minutes to complete a 7 question quiz, a mix of short answer, fill-in-the-blank, and multiple choice.

Thursday afternoon, I graded the quizzes. The mean score was about 60%, and about a quarter of the class outright failed the quiz. Only about 4 out of 28 actually aced the damn thing.

I ask you, fair reader, how in the fuck is this even possible?  Even if they only printed up the PowerPoint slides from the website and failed to 1) come to class or 2) read the text, they still could have correctly answered every single question on the quiz.

It’s hard not to nod vigorously in agreement when people say, “What’s wrong with kids today?!”

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