We are still in the midst of final exams at my university. I refuse to do multiple choice exams, so I have to come up with just the right number of unambiguously worded questions that relate to my course's most central concepts and that ideally will challenge the students to integrate among concepts, but not in a way that is impossible within the time limits of the exam or that is unreasonable given the format and content of the course. I can do this, but it takes a lot of time. In fact, it takes me so much time that I will do almost anything to avoid having to make up more than one test. Fortunately, my class this semester is not so huge, and the students will likely all show up for the scheduled exam. And then I have to grade the exams and scientifically/magically convert number grades into letter grades, but I am not ready to think about that yet.
My husband is teaching a large course for non-majors this semester, so he is dealing with the usual end-of-semester chaos. One interesting thing about his course this semester is that 99% of the students who come to his review sessions and 100% of the students who come to his office hours are female students. His class reflects the gender balance of the university, which is similar to the nationwide trend of being 55 female : 45 male or thereabouts. I had a similar experience with the big non-major class I taught last year, and we have been musing about whether talking to the professor has become a female-associated type of activity.
In the course for science majors that I taught this semester, males outnumber female students by a lot. So far, the only students who have contacted me for help about the final exam are the male students, so any trend is confined to the non-majors classes and not upper level science classes.
5 days ago