## Campus: Highline College

## 7. **Partial Credit Requests**

**Educator:** Aaron Warnock, Faculty, Mathematics

**Context:** Out of class; Pre-Calculus

**Keywords:** exam wrapper, written reflection, mathematics, online courses

**Student Activity Time: **1-2 hours

Students reflect on their exam performance and return a written description of their errors.

## Introducing the Reflection Activity

Pre-calculus courses are a fundamental building block of engineering and success in these courses may be a motivating factor for some students. In these online courses, a Partial Credit Request assignment is associated with each exam to provide students a way to earn extra points as opposed to giving the points away. After each exam, students are given two days to write an explanation of what they did wrong on questions in order to earn back some partial credit. The purpose of this activity is to assist students in learning from their errors on a mathematics exam.

Students were given a regularly scheduled exam in a proctored environment and returned their tests to the educator for grading. The educator graded the exams in such a way to indicate only if answers were correct, incorrect, or partially correct. Only the questions that were marked as partially correct were eligible for the Partial Credit Request activity. The educator required the Partial Credit Request form as a second stage of the exam; therefore students who did not complete the activity received a 0 for the entire exam. In the next session, students received a scanned copy of their graded exams, a solution key, instructions, and form for Partial Credit Requests. Students were allowed two days to reflect on their exam responses alongside of the solution key, and describe, in detail, their mistakes for each eligible question. The educator used a 4-point grade scale to award partial credit for the explanation of each question.

The educator has seen a variety of outcomes from this activity including increased exam scores, and developed the habit of reviewing exams. Students also improved their confidence in mathematics, because of the opportunity to respond to their errors and practice communicating math.

## Recreating the Reflection Activity

Step |
Description |

1 | Administer the exam. |

2 | Return graded exams to students, solution key, and provide assignment instructions to students. |

3 | Provide students with three to four days to complete the assignment. |

4 | Grade Partial Credit Requests for written response. |

5 | Adjust final grade for each student based on the Partial Credit Request. |

###### .

In the words of the Educator: Tips and Inspiration |

My main goal is for them to learn from their mistakes. Students shouldn’t be content with a 72% on an exam. When I gave students back their exams, they were excited about a 75%, because they passed. They would shove the test into their bag or throw it away as they walk out of the door, and they’re not learning from that. |