Showing posts from April, 2015

Student reaction to on line tests and quizzes in statistics

Spring term 2015 Schoology was used to deliver tests and quizzes on line in MS 150 Statistics. In previous terms all tests and quizzes were paper based. Schoology critically permitted fill-in-the-blank questions along with essay answers which were necessary to moving to on line assessment instruments.

The first on line quiz in January was delivered with some trepidation. How students would react to on line quizzes and tests was not known. In addition, the on line quizzes and tests had to be deployed in a way that would cope with power outages. This meant setting up the quiz so the quiz could be resumed. I also chose to allow the students to immediately see what they answered correctly and what they answered wrong, even though the physical layout of the laboratory could lead to potential problems. Each quiz and test was effectively an experiment, but each went well and students did not appear to use their earlier submitting neighbors results to change their answers.
At term end I used …

Performance statistics in Schoology Basic

A faculty member wrote recently asking,
I have a question about Schoology. In order to input data into TracDat, I would like to see a distribution of grades for each assignment. For example, I’d like to check how many students reached 70% on spoken language quizzes, or how many students achieved 80% on chapter tests and so forth. Bearing in mind that the faculty at the institution are using Schoology Basic, the features of Schoology Enterprise are not an option. Although aggregation of statistics for multiple assignments does not appear to be possible, there are options for obtaining statistics for individual assignments.

Student access to statistics on an assignment or test can be enabled when the assignment or test is set up.

To obtain statistics for a single assignment, test, or other scored materials, there is a  View Stats button available in the upper right corner of the assignment screen.

Alternatively, one can access assignment statistics from the Gradebook.

The statistics sc…

Review of plants for the final examination

The final examination in ethnobotany class is based on the concept that an ethnobotanically learned student can walk through their environment naming plants and describing uses of such plants. At the end of such a walk an observer would conclude that the student knows their plants and the uses of those plants. This final is made uniquely possible by the location of the course here in Micronesia with students who are the indigenous peoples of these islands.

Surrounded by Ischaemum polystachyum, with Senna alata in the background, Saccharum spontaneum in the background on the left. The usual hike: forging through a sea of paddle grass looking for plants. Lerina, Darlene, Patty, and Simon in front of the Senna alata Merremia peltata can be seen atop the paddle grass. Each plant visible has a use. The white basal core of paddle grass can be used to soothe an upset stomach, young Senna alata leaves are a topical anti-fungal, the wild cane grass is used to weave a special fafa basket in Kos…

Flying disks and mathematical models

An exploration of mathematical models and flying disks form the core of laboratory fourteen.

Vancyleen Wichep, Jerisse Salvador, Amabella Soram with disks
Laboratory fourteen explored the use of data to determine mathematical models and to test whether flying disks and rings outperform the theoretic performance of a non-flying object.

Marlynn Fredrick, Natasha Edwin
The first question examined was the nature of the mathematical model - does a horizontally thrown disk or ring travel a horizontal distance d that is linearily related to the horizontal throw velocity v? The velocity will be the independent variable on the x-axis, the distance will be the dependent variable on the y-axis.

Isako Sohar, Vancy, Kepueli Kurabui,and Marlynn
The second question was whether a disk or ring can outperform a ball or rock. A ball or rock travels a distance d equal to the horizontal distance times the square root of two times the height divided by the acceleration of gravity.

horizontal dista…

Banana patch clean-up two

On the 21st of April the ethnobotany class worked on cleaning up the banana patch once again. Clidemia hirta is completely out of control in the banana patch. The whole place may have to be hand pulled, sans knives, to try to get the C. hirta back under control.

A mapping exercise was also engaged in, but the GPS units were simply not accurate enough to correctly map the locations of the bananas.

Herpelyn Ilon and Patty Mario
Alexander Kenrad
Beverly Billy tackling C. hirta the only effective way to do so
Darlene Charley
Petery Peter, Bryan Wichep
Possible uhten in Ruhk
Located in the corner at N 006° 54.673' E 158° 09.332', thought to be Daiwang (Taiwan banana, local apellation, not necessarily from Taiwan).
Lilina Etson, Miki Fritz, and Bryan Mwarike moved an uhten lihli sucker to N 006° 54.663'    E 158° 09.326'. Identification by Lilina. Lilina calls the banana "Miki's banana."
Costus speciosus aka Cheilocostus speciosus in the foregro…

Floral litmus solutions

Physical Science SC 130 laboratory thirteen collected flowers and boiled them to generate floral litmus solutions. Some flowers generate solutions that function both as red and blue litmus paper simultaneously - that is they change to two different colors when a base or acid is added to the floral litmus solution.

Episcia cupreata proved to be an inconsistent indicator, not always changing in the same way for different bases
Baking soda was used to determine whether a floral litmus solution changes color in the presence of a known base. Baking soda is the known base. The students use a variety of local key limes as the known acid.

Boiling flowers
Chemistry is a quick run from proton and electrons, basics of atomic structure, hydrogen to oxygen, and then the structure of hydrogen and hydronium ions, providing an attempt at a segue into this laboratory. This material always reminds me that physical science is a bizarre course, an assembled beast that has way too much material in …

The search for Clidemia hirta and Melastoma malabathricum

With the ongoing development of the soccer field, finding Melastoma malabathricum var. marianum proved challenging. Clidemia hirta was easier to find, the trek to find Melastoma malabathricum var. marianum involved traipsing through the swamps of Palikir. I headed down to the present entrance road/construction access road to avoid the cliff that exists along the southeast side of the soccer field. I then doubled back to the west edge of the soccer field, walking north just to the west of the west edge. The day had been rainy and I knew there was soft terrain further to the west from prior explorations. I also knew the west edge would be fairly firm.

Miki Fritz was one of the student's in the lead through the north edge fallen tree field
At the north edge of the soccer field are all of the downed Falcataria moluccana (tuhke karisihn) trees cut to clear the soccer field. These trees trunks and branches are covered by Ischaemum polystachyum (reh padil), This makes for very treacherou…