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Abstract Title: Pondering the Punitive Zero: Analysis of a decade of blanks and missed quizzes
Abstract: When assessing student work, graders will often find that some students will leave one or more problems blank on assessments. Since there is no work shown, the grader has no means to evaluate  student's understanding  of a particular problem, and thus awards 'zero' points. This practice punishes the student behavior of leaving a problem blank, but this zero is not necessarily an accurate assessment of student understanding of a particular topic. While some might argue that this practice is 'fair' in that students are aware that they can't receive points for problems they don't attempt, we share evidence that this practice unequally impacts different student groups. We analyze 10 years of UC Davis introductory physics course databases to show that different groups of students (by gender, racial/ethnic group, first generation, etc.) skip problems, and entire exams at different rates. We also share some implications for grading and teaching practices.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session II
Poster Number: B63
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Cassandra Paul
San Jose State University
Department of Physics & Astronomy
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192
Phone: 4089245228
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
David J. Webb- University of California - Davis
Mary K. Chessey- University of California - Davis
James Lucas- San Jose State University

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster