Finals in the midst of a pandemic create new challenges

Finals are scheduled to continue through distance learning at CVHS this year. Finals in the midst of distance learning will be much different compared to previous years when they were done in person so some changes had to be made in the way teachers are planning to do finals in their classes.

Fall finals happen during the week of Dec. 14. The faculty has decided on 90-minute periods, longer than the 45-minute sessions of distance learning but shorter than the normal two-hour exams. 

Even the way students were taught this year was different from previous years because of shorter class periods and the amount of class periods there are in a week. Teachers can see how this could affect learning and the amount of information a student can take in which would affect the way students do finals in general. There are also teachers hoping to reduce the number of questions on their tests for that reason.

“The material that we are delivering during distance learning has to be in some way truncated and condensed, so we are really focusing on what we call essential standards,” said math teacher Jeffrey Small.

Every test could possibly be done differently depending on the teacher and/or department but a huge majority of teachers will be holding it synchronously to minimize cheating during the test. Cheating has always been a problem in past years and that passed on to distance learning for some students.

“What we as teachers are mostly relying on is the honesty of students, and cheating is a problem every year, but this year we’re aiming to be a bit more expansive,” said chemistry teacher Christopher Bing. 

With the sudden change from normal in-person school to distance learning, teachers have had to adjust the way they usually do finals since it’s obviously such a huge shift from how students would normally do them. Teachers have begun to use multiple testing platforms like Illuminate, Google Forms, and more that they might not have used in the past. 

“We’ve been preparing by talking a lot through meetings and text messages and occasionally Zooms trying to figure out what we think and feel is fair, what doesn’t allow for rampant cheating and something that takes into account what the students’ situation is and what we think is a fair way of judging you on what you learned and the effort you’ve put into class,” said history teacher Ian Rodriquez.

6 thoughts on “Finals in the midst of a pandemic create new challenges

  • December 8, 2020 at 2:32 pm
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    Finals are always stressful but more so this year because of how little time we actually get in class. I think many students are stressed about finals especially with how different learning has been this year.

  • December 8, 2020 at 2:28 pm
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    Finals are always stressful but more so this year because of how little time we actually get in class. I think many students are stressed about finals especially with how different learning has been this year.

  • December 7, 2020 at 11:16 pm
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    Final exams tend to be very stressful but expecially for this year, because students were taught differently this year from previous years. Due to shorter class periods and the amount of times students would meet in a week, will overall affect the students outcome of the final.

  • December 7, 2020 at 11:02 pm
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    Distanced learning has been very difficult for most students and especially for those with who struggle with ADHD and similar issues. It’s been very hard for to pay attention in class and while doing homework this year. Many of the things I’ve learned I’ve already forgotten and I think many other students as well as myself feel unprepared and anxious about finals.

  • December 6, 2020 at 9:37 pm
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    In general, final exams boost the stress of every high school student, and in a global pandemic, where there’s bad news every single day and family stresses like losing a job or family members, the added stress of final exams is absolutely unnecessary. I personally find the content very hard to retain this year because there’s only so much you can retain by staring at a screen for over 6 hours a day. The finals are setting us up for failure and are contributing to unnecessary stress.

  • December 5, 2020 at 2:25 pm
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    Everyone is anxious for finals, so it’s nice to hear what the teachers are thinking.

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