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Classroom Assessment Techniques
Weekly Reports

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Eugenia Etkina
Graduate School of Education
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey



Eugenia Etkina

"I was born in Moscow, Soviet Union...As long as I remember myself, I wanted to be a teacher. Maybe because this was the only profession I was familiar with...But there was another reason for this. I did not like school...and I could see what the teachers were doing wrong to make me feel that way. So I thought, when I become a teacher, I would be different...I wanted my students to understand why they were learning what they were learning, what are epistemological connections between different pieces of physics they learned every day, and how to learn them best..."



WHY USE WEEKLY REPORTS?
Weekly Reports provide rapid feedback about what students think they are learning and what conceptual difficulties they are experiencing.


WHAT ARE WEEKLY REPORTS?
Weekly Reports are papers written by students each week, in which they address 3 questions:

  • What did I learn this week?
  • What questions remain unclear?, and
  • What questions would you ask your students if you were the professor to find out if they understood the material?


WHAT IS INVOLVED?

Instructor Preparation Time: Minimal. Questions may be written on blackboard or provided in hard copy form.
Preparing Your Students: Students need explanations on the purpose of the reports and training on structuring the answer to the first question.
Class Time: None; done at home.
Disciplines: Appropriate for all.
Class Size: Any class size. In recitation sections, Teaching Assistants grade the reports and provide feedback.
Special Classroom/Technical Requirements: None.
Individual or Group Involvement: Individual.
Analyzing Results: Reports need careful grading. The instructor should find a way to answer atypical responses individually and typical responses in class.
Other Things to Consider: Students must see how reports help them learn; otherwise, the reports will not be taken seriously.

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