Thursday, November 12, 2009

Quizzes, More Quizzes, and the Glowing Sidewalks

I had a bunch of rather stressful quizzes (aka midterms, except that they aren't necessarily in the middle of the term) in the past couple few days. On the plus side, I also had a couple midterms returned that I did reasonably well on. It was particularly interesting to finally see how marking works in non-engineering faculties (disclaimer: note that one midterm can't fairly be used to extrapolate to all courses taught by all non-engineering faculties, but I'm going to do so anyway). For one thing, the marks were quite high: an average of 78%? A top mark of 100%? Only one failure? Preposterous! But aside from that, it was weird to see comments like "good, but too short" instead of "good: 10 marks" or "wrong: zero out of ten". Oh subjective marking, how I've missed you.

Disclaimer 2: engineering does actually have subjective marking. It's currently mostly relegated to a certain online professional development course; still, even mathematical courses usually have some degree of subjectivity. Incidentally, that certain online professional development course has recently been the subject of an independent review (PDF) which is an informative read for anyone interested in such matters.

On a completely unrelated topic: there's a tutorial on Instructables about building a pressure sensitive glowing sidewalk as seen in Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" music video (obligatory link to the official YouTube copy of the aforementioned video). Fun times.

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