March 17th, 2015



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I am proctoring a test at the moment. We are all in the computer lab--31 students and their teacher. I like proctoring--it is quiet time for me, and I can get things done. Every once in a while a student will ask for clarification of something, but other than that it is a very restful time.

I wrote most of the questions on this test. I love writing test questions. The great thing about 4th semester nursing is that the questions need to be challenging, because they will be taking their licensure exam at the end, and have to be ready for complex questions.

My favorite questions are the kind you can't just recall from memory--you have to think about them and figure it out. Kind of like a puzzle. Every once in a while I will write a question that I think is perfect, and then hardly anyone gets it right and I have to toss it from the exam. I have started having the students help me deconstruct these questions to see what went wrong. Usually it is a matter of one or two words that muddies it up. If there is nothing wrong, I will toss it into the next lecture and talk about how to critically analyze test questions.

When I was a student, I loved taking tests. I looked forward to it even. Sick, sick sick. I had good test taking skills, and I saw each test as a challenge. I loved arguing my wrong answers with the instructors.

Now students come to me to argue about questions. It is amazing what they can read into questions. Stuff I would have never thought about in a million years. I love teaching.


We have pretty much bypassed winter here. Pretty much an extended fall right into an early spring. It is in the 70s and 80s this week. NASA says that we have about a year's worth of water left. Yikes.
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