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# Re: Crib Sheets

I don't know, preparing the sheet DOES force them to organize and edit
the material from the course. [I collect the sheets {NO..NOT BEFORE THEY
TAKE THE TEST...AFTER ;) } and am always AMAZED that a few students can't
even copy the equations correctly!] By excluding example problems and
previously solved problems from their sheets helps lessen the TEMPLATE
method of problem solving (your plug into the equations) but IT IS ALSO
important to write test problems that CANNOT be solved exactly the way a
homework or example problem was. It has helped me write such problems to
concentrate both in class, on homeworks, and on tests on INTEGRATED
(semi-real world) problems that require students to use several concepts
across different chapters in order to solve the problems. Doing this a
lot helps wean them away from 'there is one way to do ALL problems of
type A' simply because the problems they work on can't be catagorized
into easily recognized types.

The primary PURPOSE of the 'crib sheet' is to CONVINCE the students that
this is NOT a MEMORY exercise. I see many times that students will
barely refer to their sheets during the test.

Rick

On Wed, 27 Mar 1996, Jim Green wrote:

I agree with Jon and others that crib sheets are a bane.

The biggest problem as I see it is that if the students are allowed to make
a crib sheet, they spend all their time getting *everything* on the sheet
and then think they *understand* the material. And as Jon says spent their
test time trying to fit an equation on the sheet to the question asked --
never once trying to sort out the physics. Their brains seem to think (that
may be a bit optimistic) "Where do I stuff the given numbers?"

I have found it valuable in this regard, to ask several questions about one
scenario and give more data than is needed such that they MUST think through
the physics.

Jim.Green@Snow.edu