I'm sitting here on a Saturday morning with a mile-high stack of exam blue books, about to wade into marking up our honors placement tests. And, for some of our students, I will need to re-test them at the end of the summer to make sure that they have, indeed, mastered Algebra II or Geometry or what-have-you. And I'm not happy about this situation -- I'll be hitting students who have been back at school for maybe an hour with a fairly high-stakes test that then needs to be turned around and graded in just a few hours to be ready for the first day of classes. Ugh.
When I did this last year, I swore that I would find some sort of technologically-mediated way to give the end-of-summer tests before students came back to campus. But, I have some restrictions on what will work for me:
- They have to be able to write/draw/graph fluidly and by hand -- and, since I can't guarantee that they'll have tablets (unless I send them an iPad), this means paper for their work.
- I want access to their math flow -- it's at least a bazillion times more important to me to see how they tackled a problem than to see that they got the right answer. Maybe a bazillion squared.
- It has to be timed and closed notes, with some level of verification because, well… test, not copying exercise.
- It has to scale, a little -- I can't do this one-by-one with students. I don't have a truly vast number of students -- less than 100, so batches of 8-15 would be workable, for example.
I, of course, have been teaching all year, so the basic research that I meant to do before this summer hasn't been researched. Dang. I'm wondering if anyone has something in their back pocket that works great for this problem, or if I'm on my own. (If I come up with something great, I'll share it too!)