A key factor is that it is an open book exam. Last week I explained to the class (I have another excellent group this year) that an open book exam is in fact more challenging than a closed book one, since some of them seemed to be under the opposite impression.
The point is that since we all know that if they have the textbook and their class notes and so can look things up, I certainly can’t ask them anything that they can lift from those sources without thinking. Therefore I will be able to focus on testing their ability to think and apply the techniques that they have been (I hope) studying. This is, after all, the point of the exercise, isn’t it? More so than remembering equations, in any case. (Although one hopes that all physics students can remember Maxwell’s equations…)
The drawback to all of this is that I myself have to think harder in preparing the Continue reading ‘Midterm One’