After months of planning, prep, instruction, and projects, I gave my first certification exam in Final Cut Pro yesterday. The certification exam is optional, and half of the students enrolled (10) opted to take the test. The test is taken online. There are multiple choice, select all that apply, and find this item in the diagram (screen shot) questions. Test takers are given 90 minutes to complete all 70 questions. The pass score is 80%. I had one student score above 80% (81%). The average score was 56%. Epic fail?
I predicted the student who passed would pass before I ever began to teach him the curriculum. He came in with prior knowledge and experience using the application at home. The next highest score was 76% from a student who is enrolled in two of my classes and serves as my TA in a third. However, another student who spends the same amount of time in my classroom earned the lowest score 36%.
I can reflect on these numbers in two ways. First, most students do not have access to Final Cut Pro outside of my classroom; Final Cut Pro is very expensive to purchase and requires a Macintosh computer. While I gave the students plenty of assignments to complete, and we worked through all of the projects in the text book, mastery of the application requires many additional hours invested in using it to edit.
Second, this was my first time teaching the application, using the text, and proctoring the exam. Past experience dictates that next time I will do a better job of teaching the material and insuring that the students spend even more time using the software. I now have some data to look at and use to help guide my presentation of the material to a new group of students in the fall.
Do I feel like a failure because of these scores? Of course not. Teaching is a process where perfection is the goal but rarely the outcome. The most effective teacher is the one who is at the same time leading and learning right alongside his or her students. Every student who took the course learned from their experience regardless of the percentage of questions answered correctly on the exam. My goal is to get two students above 80% next time and I am confident that they will.
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