A Real Final Exam: Business Information Management

Well, since entering K-12 education in the 2004/2005 school year, I have now written and administered my first “real” semester exams!

While I have always given exams at the conclusion of the semesters, I have never really given a genuine exam “experience”. There would be a test. That test usually consisted of 50 questions. 25 of the questions were True/False and 25 were Multiple Choice. The students were given a single sentence review guide of “Always Be True to Yourself”.

Now, with that as the review guide, I think you could safely guess that the answers were “B” and “True”. Your guess would be correct. Sadly, I did have students fail that test.

The test was not a “give-me grade” since there was usually a major end-of-year project that the majority of their semester grade was based upon. This final was created so we could simply check a box that said we gave a paper final.

This year, I opted to write and administer a genuine rigorous exam as I was not using any major end-of-year projects.

BIM (EOY) Final Exam – Test

BIM (EOY) Final Exam – Answer Key

As you can see, this is a bit more rigorous of a test. In fact, all of the questions require a calculated answer.

Once the tests are completed, I will analyze student performance in another post.

Spring Exam Exemptions

It is that time of the year again. It’s time for spring semester exams and ’tis exemption season! This is the season when students start seeking if they qualify to be exempt from having to take the semester exam in a given class.

Each school I have had the opportunity to work at does this process differently and each school has used different criteria to determine eligibility for exemptions.

Exemptions (Spring 2017 Finals)
Exemptions (Spring 2017 Finals)

Here, you can see that I have a total of 146 students. There are 88 students enrolled in Business Information Management (BIM) across 4 sections. There are 15 students in my single section of Computer Science I. There are 25 students in my single section of Principles of Technology. There are 18 students in my single section of Robotics & Automation.

As you can see in the chart, 51 of the 88 BIM students are eligible to be exempt from their spring semester exam. This means that 57.9% of my BIM students are eligible to be exempt from their exam!

In Computer Science, that percentage rises to 66.7% are exempt and in Robotics and Automation is continued to climb us to 72.2%!

Unfortunately, in my Principles of Technology, the percentage plummets to 48%. This has been due to poor grade performance because many teams elected to not submit required documentation with their projects throughout the semester.

As Computer Science, Robotics & Automation, and Principles of Technology are stand-alone single-section courses, let’s take a quick look at how each of the BIM sections performed individually.

BIM Exemptions (Spring 2017 Finals)
BIM Exemptions (Spring 2017 Finals)

Here is the break-out of the 4 sections of BIM that I teach.

While the average for all 4 sections of BIM was 57.9%, 1 section performed well above that average, 1 section section performed well below that average, and the other 2 held pretty close to that average.

  • 2(B) has 10 of 23 students qualifying for exemptions, which is 43.4%.
  • 3(B) has 14 of 23 students qualifying for exemptions, which is 60.8%.
  • 4(B) has 14 of 19 students qualifying for exemptions, which is 73.6%.
  • 4(A) has 13 of 23 students qualifying for exemptions, which is 56.5%.

Compared to past years, this is close to what I have experienced as far as exam exemption qualification is concerned.

BIM 4(B) – Semester Grade Closing

The semester exam in Business Information Management – 4(B) was given today and the final grades for this course are ready for posting.

1st Semester - Business Information Management - 4B (Pre-Exam)
1st Semester – Business Information Management – 4B (Pre-Exam)
1st Semester - Business Information Management - 4B (Post-Exam)
1st Semester – Business Information Management – 4B (Post-Exam)

This class probably got the most benefit from the semester exam. While the number of A’s and B’s held steady, the 2 F’s were bumped up to C’s because of the exam.

F’s = 2 < – > 0
C’s = 3 < – > 5
B’s = 2 < – > 2
A’s = 15 < – > 15

This class had a semester failure rate of 0.00%!

BIM 3(B) – Semester Grade Closing

The semester exam in Business Information Management – 3(B) was given today and the final grades for this course are ready for posting.

1st Semester - Business Information Management - 3B (Pre-Exam)
1st Semester – Business Information Management – 3B (Pre-Exam)
1st Semester - Business Information Management - 3B (Post-Exam)
1st Semester – Business Information Management – 3B (Post-Exam)

As you can see, the semester exam shifted the grades to the right and resulted in the lowest grade (e.g. “C”) being bumped up to a “B! Also, two of the “B” grades were bumped to an “A”!

F’s = 0 < – > 0
C’s = 1 < – > 0
B’s = 3 < – > 4
A’s = 17 < – > 18

This class had a semester failure rate of 0.00%!

BIM 4(A) – Semester Grade Closing

The semester exam in Business Information Management – 4(A) was given today and the final grades for this course are ready for posting.

1st Semester - Business Information Management - 4A (Pre-Exam)
1st Semester – Business Information Management – 4A (Pre-Exam)
1st Semester - Business Information Management - 4A (Post-Exam)
1st Semester – Business Information Management – 4A (Post-Exam)

As you can see, the semester exam had a negligible impact on the overall grades for this class.

F’s = 1 < – > 1
C’s = 2 < – > 2
B’s = 1 < – > 1
A’s = 15 < – > 15

This class had a semester failure rate of 5.26%.

BIM 2(B) – Semester Grade Closing

The semester exam in Business Information Management – 2(B) was given today and the final grades for this course are ready for posting.

1st Semester - Business Information Management - 2B (Pre-Exam)
1st Semester – Business Information Management – 2B (Pre-Exam)
1st Semester - Business Information Management - 2B (Post-Exam)
1st Semester – Business Information Management – 2B (Post-Exam)

As you can see, the grades in this class did shift to the right, but not by much.

F’s = 3 < – > 3
C’s = 3 < – > 3
B’s = 3 < – > 2
A’s = 12 < – > 13

In the end, two of the failures climbed a bit, but not enough to pass and the 3rd actually slid lower. The number of C’s held and one B climbed to an A.

This class had a semester failure rate of 14.28%.

Microsoft Word Exam #1

bim-2010-bookWe recently gave the first exam for Microsoft Word. In our textbook, Microsoft Word was broken into 4 distinct units (A, B, C, and D).

We started the school year working on developing or refining keyboarding skills using Alfatyping. As such, we didn’t get started in the book until mid-September.

Our current grading cycle closes on 14-October. Up to this point, we have only covered through Unit C of Microsoft Word. At the conclusion of each unit we have given a unit “concepts quiz” and have taken numerous daily grades. Unfortunately, we have not yet had the opportunity to take a major grade.

After some discussion, we agreed to create an “intermediate” exam that would cover only Units A, B, and C. We created both an application (hands-on) exam and a concepts (knowledge) exam. The plan is to utilize the materials created by my predecessor (who is no longer able to teach BIM due to additional administrative duties) for an “end of Word” exam that would cover Units A, B, C, and D.

Our application test was the following:

Students were presented with a file with partial content and a set of 20 instructions to complete for formatting. They also had to complete the content in the file. Each major numbered task was worth 5 points.

Our concepts test was the following:

Students were presented with a total of 30 multiple choice questions. Approximately 10 questions from each unit (A, B, & C) were presented to the students.

Students were told that the exam was “open resource” and they were welcome to use whatever research techniques they had at their disposal. Examples of using the book, searching online, and discussing with a neighbor were all presented to the students.

Both tests were given over 2 90-minute classes. The application test was presented at the start of the first 90-minute class while the concepts test was presented at the start of the second 90-minute class.

On average, 65% of students completed the application test by the conclusion of the first 90-minute class. The remaining 35% completed the application test by the conclusion of the second 90-minute class following their work on the concepts test.