This past Monday, I administered the midterm exam to my students and when I graded it later in the week, I became very alarmed. The whole class did quite poorly which surprised me very much as their analysis papers were quite strong. I'm still baffled as to why this happened, since we had a review session, completed Venn diagram -which I asked students to post on the class blog and 20 of the 22 students did so-and the directions, prompts and leading questions I composed for the midterm were an easy outline to follow. In other words, the exam was an easy A as even if student did not do the readings and only attended class/listened to class discussions. So I've decided, and this is partially a result of a conversation I had with Dr. X during Friday's Community 2.0 seminar meeting, to administer the final exam in a computer lab and give students an option of either typing or writing the final essay.
Is anyone else having a similar issue, where students' writing seems to be much weaker on formal assignments than what they post on the class blog/wiki/Ning?
But I am very pleased to report that my students who have connected with Prof. Matsuuchi's LRC 103 students are actually communicating via e-mail and helping each other with research projects. While the successful connection rate is not overwhelming, of the 12 students who actually did pair up with research advisers(LRC 103 students), about 6 or 7 are actively working together and asking for advice on research sources.