Sunday, April 24, 2011's that time of year again

The yellow-dust season in Korea (otherwise known as Spring in Canada), also known as Mid-term Exams!  They usually bring joy to my heart, since it's a week where I'm not on center stage, doing my little teaching thing.  I'm not a person who loves being the center of attention, I've just learned to adapt to it because of my job.  Instead this week, I just take a back-seat role and let the students do their thing. 

Coming up to this week (and the morning of my first test-now!) I always have the little debate in my head about how exactly to do it.  1-1, which is exhausting for me.  And I actually try to avoid the situation where I'm in my office (I have a private one), alone, with a student.  2/3-1, which is a good mix but can take a long time for a class of 25 students.  Or, just do it with the whole class together, but that can amp up the stress, as students are worried about embarrassing themselves in front of their peers. 

So, I usually settle on taking students into my office in groups of 4-6, depending on the class size.  A smaller class: groups of 4, larger: groups of 6.  It is big enough to have some witnesses, should a student bomb miserably and I give them an "F."  They can't really argue with me when it was clear to 5 other people how truly terrible they were.  Yet it is small enough that the atmosphere is kind of friendly and not so high stress.  And in a big class, it goes fast enough.  Just 4 groups of 6.


MsCaroline said...

Are your exams strictly oral, or do you also administer a written component? Is the final designed in a group by all the instructors together, or does each instructor do his/her own thing? Do you do one on one interviews, or do you have them come up in groups of two or more and do situation cards with roleplaying? Do you have the resources to videotape the interviews? What about audio recording resources? (Sorry to barrage you with questions, but curious to know how things work in your department.) Have heard lots of dreadful things about the Yellow Dust (Sand?) and hope it passes quickly for you!

Jackie Bolen said...

I've answered your questions: check the latest post.