Team Readiness Assessments (TRAs)
Team readiness assessments (TRAs) are given every three weeks to assess student readiness for the more complex thinking required during application exercises. These assessments measure recognition & basic comprehension of (1) essential terms, (2) primary sources, and (3) key images. IMPORTANT: A number of these same questions then reappear on the final exam.
NOTE: each TRA takes place after a two-period guided reading session introducing the readings, but before the in-depth processing of readings done during team application exercises. Most students thus need to allow more time than they are used to for reading and studying assigned materials on their own.
Logistics (RAP: the "Readiness Assurance Process")
TRAs will be marked via Scantron (#882, 50 questions on both sides) on during the first class of the second week of each three-week unit (see course content site for exact dates). Please make sure to bring a blank Scantron and #2 pencil to class, as these will not be provided. During the exam, make sure to keep your gaze fixed either on your own paper, or at some distant object at the front of the room or ceiling. Gazing at one or more other students' papers will be treated as attempted plagiarism. (See my statements about the importance of academic honesty in FAQ, #10-13.)
Once in class:
- Individuals and teams will be allowedat least twenty (20) minutes to complete each TRA, with tests collected 5 minutes after the first 5 scantrons have been collected. IMPORTANT: the individual TRA is open-book and open-note, but the team TRA is closed-book and closed-note. That is, once in your team, you must choose the correct answers, and convince other team members if needed, based on what you remember of what you have read and heard.
NOTE: Each question will count for two & half (2 1/2) points, for a total of 25 points for each individual and team. Since individual and team scores are added together, each individual ends up with a score out of 50 points for each TRA. The lowest TRA score will be dropped for each individual and team.
- When finished with the team test, have a team member deliver your answer sheet, write the score on the board. Then pick up a "TRA question analysis" form and decide if there are one or two questions you felt were to difficult or misleading. You can then TAKE OUT YOUR READING MATERIALS AND NOTES and write an analysis of the question that specifies in what way it is difficult or misleading. Alternatively, using the opposite side of the form, you may also submit an alternative question which I may use on some future TRA. A successful question analysis and effective alternative question may both receive up to 1 extra point of credit for the team (= 10% of the TRA score).
- Following each TRA, I will
(a) post the focus statement for the application exercise to be done the next class and
(b) post a mini application activity, to be completed on a half sheet of notebook paper by each team.