One of the many unique features of Coms 463 is that we were required to write a quiz every Monday that drew upon the assigned readings. The questions required that the student have a basic understanding of the concept of the readings, but also that they were able to apply the ideas and provide examples for them. These quizzes were included in our blog portfolio which was marked at the end of term. Dr. Smith would scan in our quiz and post it on our blogs as a pdf file. Oftentimes, she would give us feedback on our quizzes, suggesting ways we could improve on our understanding, organization, content, etc. What was most useful about the quiz system is that we had the opportunity to revise our quizzes before submitting them into the final version of our blog portfolio. This allowed us to make, not only grammatical corrections, but also to supplement our responses when they were not adequate. A Unique System of Learning: Weekly Quizzes with Revisions
Extreme Makeover: Quiz Edition Welcome to Extreme Makeover: Quiz Edition. I’m your host, Ty Pennington!
In addition to saving time, effective communication skills can aid in maintaining a interconnected staff. It can also help with staff “retention” as MacLennan puts it. Communication allows everyone to realize a common goal and what they are doing to achieve the motive. As MacKenzie states, communication in the workplace can help to analyze data. It may bridge the gap between experts and non-experts. Effective communication takes data and highlights what is important and explains what is unclear. This is an essential tool for most organizations. As Mackenzie notes, students often “experience school and work as two parallel and only loosely related universes” (p. 18) To aid this problem, she suggests introducing courses that improve students’ “oral and written communication skills” (p. 18). Though writing is vital, it is not the only skill that is needed upon entering into the work force. MacKenzie also notes that “teamwork, negotiating skills, leadership and innovation” (p.18) are also highly important. After…
What Sorts of Revisions Were Made? <ul><li>Let’s use this example to examine what sorts of revisions were made. </li></ul><ul><li>In the textbook readings, George C. Harwell writes that “to be clear should be our constant aim” (page 144). </li></ul><ul><li>Additions were made to areas where information was sparse or unclear. Oftentimes the original answer needed to be supplemented, or a specific example needed to be applied to demonstrate understanding and make things clearer. </li></ul><ul><li>Harwell and William Zinsser comment on the need for simplicity in writing and avoiding “clutter” (page 153). In the example, I have crossed out words that were not essential or were a hindrance. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s also important to use discretion when making revisions. As Jean Hollis Weber writes, there are “essential, nonessential, and fake rules” (Page 181) when it comes to grammar. Only those changes that are absolutely necessary for the document’s clarity should be made. </li></ul>
Survey <ul><li>A survey was conducted among a sample of Coms 463 students inquiring about quiz revisions. The survey asked: </li></ul><ul><li>Did you make revisions to your quizzes before handing in your midterm portfolio? If so, what did you learn from making those revisions? </li></ul>
Survey Results <ul><li>5 out of the total 8 students that were surveyed said that they did make revisions to their quizzes before submitting their portfolio. </li></ul><ul><li>One of the students that didn’t make a revision said “No [I didn’t revise]. I wish I did. Maybe next time when I have more time”. </li></ul><ul><li>2 out of the 5 students who did revise said that they did so because their original answers were simply a recitation of fact. In the revising stage, both commented that they went further with their answers and applied their knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>3 of the 5 students who revised said that the opportunity to go back and revise helped them in future quizzes to think more critically. One student wrote, “I started adjusting my writing style from just regurgitating concepts to digging deeper”. </li></ul>
Survey Results (cont’d) <ul><li>2 out of the 5 students that revised commented that being able to step away from their quiz answers and come back to them in the revision stage allowed them to catch mistakes they had not seen before. One student commented upon what happened when they revisited their work: “I notice[d] gaps in my answers and [was able to] think of additions to strengthen the piece”. </li></ul><ul><li>Of the 3 students that did not revise their quizzes, 2 said that time constraints were the reason. </li></ul>
Conclusions <ul><li>The revision system seems to be an effective method of learning for students. 5 out of the 8 students did revise, and 6 out of the 8 thought revisions were a helpful contribution to the class. </li></ul><ul><li>Drawing from personal experience, I found the quizzes to be helpful in that they gave me the opportunity to critique my own work and to prioritize what sorts of revisions were useful and which were not. </li></ul><ul><li>The revisions also helped me to do better on future quizzes for I was more aware of what kinds of questions would be asked and what some of my common mistakes in answering were. </li></ul>