Exams are upon us and today we started two days of review in class and home to get ready for them. Today is Wednesday, the tests are Friday, and while I feel pretty confident, I’m quite determined to leverage a B into an A in science. The truth is I’d like Mr. Gagne to see me near the top of the list.
After school, I logged onto A·B·D and from habit checked my calendar, newsfeeds, messages. Succotash and Bill were on and wanted to start knocking heads right away, but I reminded them how Gagne had urged us to identify our weak spots first, so as to focus on them, and so we held back to check over our learning profiles first.
I clicked on science and felt a momentary satisfaction at seeing all my work ticked off and no new assignments. I detoured to my science project folder just one more time to see my handiwork, and couldn’t resist rereading Mr. Gagne’s comments, which were extremely favorable. Almost printed the damned thing. Vainglorious me!
I clicked on my science learning profile to open up the KSI (Knowledge and Skill Items) list with the course’s 85 objectives. Each item was marked with its target learning level and my achieved learning level. Mr. Gagne had entered my achievement marks during the semester on the basis of my homework and tests and his observations. All that stuff is fixed and I can’t change it, naturally, but I can filter and sequence them to see where I’m solid and, for this purpose, where I’m not.
Zooming in on the bad ones, I clicked to open the details – every record for each item. Looking over this stuff – and trying not to wince too much over some of the topics that seemed like a pain in the tail – it was simple to make a list by checking off items, and aspects of items, that needed study. Actually pretty handy. I fired off the list – 13 items – to Succotash and Bill.
They were online and we saw our trouble spots had a lot of overlap. Not much use in asking each other about them, so we decided to raise them in class tomorrow and instead worked on the other items, where we could help each other. We battered at that for an hour and got through most of them. (Bill can be a bit thick.)
Dad checked in from out of town. I showed him my checklist and he helped me with a couple of stinkers. Dad said not to sweat the A. He says that, but does he mean it?
The next day in class, Mr. Gagne said he’d used the learning profiles in aggregate to pick subjects for review. He answered some of my questions without being asked. The feeling of pressure is beginning to dissipate. Mr. Gagne says a little more effort and we won’t get any surprises.