September 05, 2004

Now I'm even dreaming about it!

Term is still several weeks away yet, but already teaching preparations are underway. One course I will teach is going to change its methods of assessment and include a test, and the preparations have to be just right - you don't want any mistakes in students' marks. Last night I actually dreamed about a mock test for this new test. I remember thinking, whilst still in the dream, that I'd got loads of really really useful information from this mock test in my dream, and I must try really really hard to remember it when I woke up, because it would be valuable. And what was this oh-so-valuable information? Well, I remembered two parts of it. One was noticing that students in my dream had filled in some of the multiple choice questions wrongly: instead of ticking a box, they'd written 'a' for option a. So it was really important to give students instructions so that they filled out the answer papers ok. A valid concern if we were using optical character recognition to read the papers, but we're not planning to do that. The other one was concerning keeping students' question and answer papers together, and wouldn't it be a good idea to use treasury tags. Yes, brilliant idea, O Subconscious, if there were separate question and answer papers, and for some reason the question papers needed to be kept with the relevant answer papers... but they don't! In fact there is no separate answer paper - students will put their answers on the question paper itself! Useless, Subconscious! Must Do Better. A psychologist could no doubt have a field day...


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