Schedules and Daily Quizzes

So, I have really gotten a feel for how I am going to run this course.  We are just over a week into class and things have been going very well.  The comment was made today that the class time seems to fly by.  I was really excited to hear that.  I have noticed that I am keeping pace (+/- 1 day) with the other (standard courses).  This is good news when it comes to implementing this inquiry approach to all of my sections of chemistry.

The daily format works as such:

  1. Daily Quiz
  2. Review Daily Quiz
  3. New material (lecture or discussion so far, we try a small POGIL approach tomorrow)
  4. Process Workshop (group/lab work)
  5. Wrapup
  6. Assign Homework

The biggest change I have seen in my students is that they are keeping up with their work.  The daily quizzes are wonderful for keeping track of where the students are and showing the students the important topics.  I give them a quiz each day over the topic of the previous day.  I have one rule when writing one of these quizzes: The question must not be a throw away question.  That is, it must relate to the real-world and be in depth.  This is harder to do than I first thought.  Because each quiz is only one or two questions, the students take more time and effort into answering it than they would a 50 point test.  They take the time to reflect on what the question in asking.  Today, the question was:

A student was working in the lab.  She mixed two beakers of different volumes together.  Using the data below, what was her final volume.

Beaker A – 98.53 mL

Beaker B – 0.2 L

This combined significant figures and metric conversions.  The discussion after the quiz focused on the significant figures as must students had not considered them.  This as been a big problem in our chemistry classes.  During the lab we worked on later (pg 8 in the course guide), the students considered the use of sig figs in their answers.

So far, the quiz scores have been good and, more importantly, improving.

That is my big news for today.

Do you do a daily quiz in your class? What are your rules for writing good questions?

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