Interesting practice by my community college

The welding class I am taking involves computer (web based)
testing. There are pre-tests and post-tests. Pre-tests do not count
towards the grade and can be taken on their website many times. After
submitting a pre-test, I can see right answers and my wrong answers
corrected. The point of it is to gauge the students' knowledge and
help them work with materials, as well as to compare progress. So it
is very convenient, results of them can be printed out, with answers,
for further study, etc.
The post-tests, however, can be taken only once and do count towards
final grade. There is one pair of tests per topic, like O/A welding
tests, stick welding tests etc.
Both kinds of tests, I think, can be taken from home. Which is all
very convenient. Right?
But here's something interesting: pre-tests are identical to post
tests, as becomes very obvious if you open the post-test right after
I leave the conclusions up to the readers.
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No child will be left welding behind?
Reply to
Michael Koblic
Hey, they're going to be welders. They have enough issues without feeling bad about their grades!

Cheers trev
Reply to
Trevor Jones
An interesting approaching to working yourself out of a job. If all the students figure this out, the pretests and the post tests will be the same, proving the instructor did NOTHING.
Ignoramus11155 wrote:
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When it's done like that it's usually meant to be homework and does not count as a test.
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I think most community college subjects (at least the first course in the subject) is designed to be easy so as not to discourage mediocre students. Last fall I took a course in physics at our local CC. The prof let us take our tests home to work on them. If someone got a low grade they could retake the test and regain half the credit if they had a perfect score. For our final he encouraged us to work on it together. We obtained a room in the library and worked on the test as a group. We could use our textbooks and we could go online for better explanations of things such as the double slit experiment. It was a fun course. Engineman
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Yes, I think that it hugely helps with "assessment" results.
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My conclusion is that the teacher's union will be patting themselves on the back for the good work.
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My welding classes were generally not academically challenging in the least. Though we had a change of teachers over time, and the guy there now is trying to make the courses a bit more academically challenging, it's still fairly easy.
The first teacher gave open book tests for the mid term and final. All you had to do, was to be smart enough to find the answer in the book and write in the answer on the test. All the questions were taken straight out of the book. and they were multiple choice or fill in the blank. No easy questions. It was a test that only took about 15 minutes if you knew the material, but you had a full 4 hours to finish it. Most people could get an A even if they had never opened the book before simply by reading the three or so chapters covered by the test, and then answering the questions during the test.
And not to make it too hard, the questions were in order as they showed up in the book, so once you found one, you knew to read forward to find the next extra.
Most of the real grade came from the welding projects. If you didn't know how to do the welds before the class, it generally required you to show up and practice welding the full class to get everything done with a passing grade.
Reply to
Curt Welch
When I started teaching evenings at South Seattle, they told me I would have to give weekly quizzes, a midterm and a final exam.
What an absolutely ludicrous idea for an evening hobby welding class.
In 9 years I never gave a quiz, or midterm. My final exam consisted of 2 questions.
What is your name? What grade should you get?
Nobody at South Seattle ever bothered me about it. Every student who wanted a grade, got an A.
I never felt any guilt about it.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
I enrolled in our CC's TIG class last year to improve my skills. The instructor admitted that he taught gas and MIG, but hadn't taught any TIG. I was spending one night a week 30 miles from home primarily helping to set-up, fixing machines, helping other students with less experience, and was providing the scrap metal for everyone to practice on, while learning nothing that I could not read at home. I hate to quit anything, but it was a waste of time. I did tell them they could come by and get scrap, but it's nearly 50 miles to the shop.
Reply to
Stupendous Man
Perhaps they are meeting a requirement written by academic professionals who ignored hands-on manual training.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Maybe. We are finally getting able to do welding.
Reply to
No different that the "courses" to get a private pilots license from many people. The test administered by the FAA is 80 of a possible 300 questions. The courses have all 300 questions and let you got through all 300 as many times as you want, or make up random 80 question tests.
Who cares if you aced the PP test, when the FFA guy gets you up in the bird, he'll figure out if you know how to fly...
I my opinion there is nothing wrong with this.
In a way, part of the "test" is to see if you took the tme to get a good grade, not just a passing grade...
At some point as an adult you finely figure out the only person you cheat is yourself if you don't really "learn". and if yer an asswipe kid, this will be your first object lesson in why you SHOULD have learned... The reality is that the test is for YOU, so YOU know what you've learned...
Grades in "trade school" or the any school for that matter don't mean squat, and ANY employer worth the money he's going to pay you will test you... just like the FAA guy...
So you say yer a welder huh... weld this while I watch (or have my best welder) watch... you open the Acetylene valve all the way, or dial the DC power up all the way .. he'll stop ya right there and say.. "Thanks but no thanks"...
So you say yer a computer programmer huh.. Ok Here's a hard problem, show me the code to solve it... If your code looks like " spaghetti ".. he'll say... Thanks but no thanks...
You do this to 10 people and pick the best one..
Been on both side of this fence, and I'l tell ya, you DON'T want to get me as the guy asking to see your program..
--.- Dave
Reply to
Dave August
I am usually the guy "asking to see your program" too. It is depressing how many people offer themselves for computer programming job and have no clue what is programming.
I believe firmly that some people are great at BSing their way through interviews and a regular chat type interview cannot filter them out. But asking to write a program, that is unambiguous.
What kind of programming questions do you ask?
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look at it this way; if anybody does flunk the post-test, you can be sure that they really deserve to flunk.
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i did the local adult ed night course (which is what started me on the road to this usenet group); unfortunately there weren't enough machines or enough scrap to go around, so I managed to get through the course and get a certificate, without ever actually touching a MIG welder; i spent half the time on a stick welder and the other half on the tig welder. (which was more fun, anyway). also one day doing acetylene.
but, that got me hooked and i bought a wire welder which is why i'm hanging out here. i don't think i'm going to take that certificate and get myself a welding job just yet, though.
i do like tig though. reminds me of all the soldering i did all my life.
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Well. Its the "Grumpy Old Fart" syndrome, I got it too - we remember how things used to be, rather than come to terms with how they are. My college - "self paced learning modules" - which translates to a stack of books to answer questions from, without any real understanding of the process. You can ask an instructor for help, but hes usually doing paperwork originated by the CEO of the college, as they get funding proportional to the numbers going through. Is it a crap system? - yes, if your not motivated to desperately learn all you can as you realise you wont have the chance again. Is it open to abuse - well, sort of. Cheat sheets for the books are avaialble if you want them. Most dont.
There is still a strong prac component, you do a piece, the instructor measures it, and if it aint in the specified tolerance, its rejected and you do it again (or piss off if you cant handle it)
Add to this, trade teachers are lowly paid in relation to "real" teachers, theres a lot of crap due to "economic rationalisation" TQM, "performance monitoring" - bloody hell, you all know the modern essentially meaningless catchphrases. So, your left with the ones who are bloody good and WANT to teach, and I am greatful for this in my efforts.
Point of this RANT - nothing really, the world is as it is and none of us here can change it. We have to adapt, or be like the dinosaurs and die out. Depressing thought, aint it.
Andrew VK3BFA.
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No, because I try to live life by my own standards, and when it is all over, I will be able to face whatever judgement I am given. And in the meantime, I live in my own little fishbowl that I can control.
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well said!
"Obama, raises taxes and kills babies. Sarah Palin - raises babies and kills taxes." Pyotr Flipivich
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Gunner Asch

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