Posted by: unlikelygrad | February 15, 2010

the “trailer section”

As I mentioned in a previous post, most of my Chem 1 students are in my class this semester because they failed Chem 1 last semester. We call them the “trailer section” because they lag behind the average students. It never ceases to amaze me how bad they can be:

  • I have one student who was in my section last semester. I swear that she turned in her old report without changing a single thing. Score: 69/100.
  • At the beginning of the semester, I gave each of them a detailed handout which included
    1. what sections should be in each lab report,
    2. what should be in each section, and
    3. a sample lab report (for a lab we don’t do) that follows these guidelines.

    I would estimate that about 75% of the students didn’t even follow the required structure. Of the 25% who did, not all followed the guidelines of what should be in each section.

  • One fellow in particular didn’t bother with sections at all. How could he? His lab report was two paragraphs long. I don’t think he gets the point of what he’s supposed to do.

I do have a couple of people who transferred in mid-year. They are not without their issues, but they seem to work hard and follow directions. I wish I had more like them.

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