Thursday, June 30, 2011

Classes on Computer

So I'm teaching summer school...and nearly all of the summer school instruction is through a computer program called APEX.  The students log on to their individual courses &everything is on the computer.  They are supposed to read the material and  then complete computer scored quizzes & tests.

It is such a joke.  They may be earning course credit but they are not learning a thing.

Many of them  just skip through the units to the quizzes & tests without reading any of the material--instead they just "google' the question.  Now if they read through the results to can some understanding of the original question, it would be acceptable but they don't do that.  They expect the exact answer to pop up on screen and when it doesn't, then they just guess. If they fail, then they just push reset or ask the APEX proctor to reset it and then they just repeat until they earn a 60%.

One young man asked for my assistance with one of his government questions; he was being asked to define a term and it was one that I didn't recognize.  I asked him if he had looked it up.  "Yeah, but it said something different from those." He replied, pointing at the multiple choice options on the screen.

I had him "google" it once more.  As he had stated, the results paged didn't show the answer but when I had him click on one of the results and read through it with him...lo and behold, we found the answer,  He grinned sheepishly at me and said, "that's why you were saying we had to read, wasn't it?"  At my nod, he hung his head and chuckled.  However, I'm not sure that he'll remember that lesson when he's working on it at home this evening.

When I caught one just randomly guessing her way through Algebra I, I asked her how she planned to be successful in Algebra II.  "Oh, if I fail it, I'll just do this again next summer."

So then I asked about college.  How does she plan to pass her college math courses if she doesn't have the foundation from high school?

Her response:  "Oh, I'll try in college."

We're obviously missing some steps somewhere.