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  Wayne's Word On-Line Exam From Spring 2006  
  Exam Used In W.P. Armstrong's On-Line Biology Class At Palomar College  
This Page Posted by W.P. Armstrong, 22 September 2021 (Autumnal Equinox)
During the COVID-19 crisis of the past 20 months (since December 2019) there has been a dramatic increase in distance learning. Throughout the United States, the deadly, infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus has resulted in virtual rather than in-person classrooms. Consequently, there have been a lot of discussions regarding the effectiveness and academic quality of on-line teaching. I thought perhaps it would be interesting to share one of many on-line biology exams I created in the early 2000s. I have heard how some present-day students breeze through their virtual courses, completing course requirements in the first week. I can truthfully say this certainly didn't happen in my on-line courses (See Grade Scale Link At Bottom Of This Page).

This is one of my on-line general biology exams at Palomar College from the spring semester 2006: Exam #4 Mendelian Genetics & Immunology. I also included an on-line answer sheet submission form to University of Hawaii for grading, and a detailed HINT PAGE to help students with difficult questions. I converted them into PDF files that can be resized to fit your computer screen. Note: Some links on the PDF files may no longer function.

My on-line exams were open book: The answers are all on my Wayne's Word website plus required reading assignments, and on-line links were provided to the appropriate sections. Unfortunately, my on-line testing program is no longer supported. Although I flew to Maui and purchased this great program called QuizServer as a registered owner, Palomar would not install it on their server. It was probably obsolete and vulnerable to hackers.

I must admit that the entire program plus server files came on a 3.5 inch floppy disk. To keep track of exams, quizzes, extra credit assignments, etc. I used the spreadsheet in a marvelous PC version of AppleWorks called SuperWorks. Modern distance learning programs do all of this and more; however I liked the control I had over all of my distance learning files on Wayne's Word. I spent a considerable amount of time setting up two on-line courses in the Life Sciences Dept. at Palomar College: Biology 101 (General Biology Lecture) and Botany 115 (Plants & People). These classes filled quickly and most of the student reviews were favorable.

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  I Hand-Coated Wayne's Word & All Exams With Following Text Editor  

During one semester I had 100 students enrolled in my 2 on-line classes, including students from Canada, the United States, and military bases in Hawaii. I think the classes were academic and very successful. I was also developing an on-line general biology lab with experiments that could be performed in your kitchen. I spent many hours answering student questions on-line and I posted many of their questions on my on-line Hint Pages (See Links At Bottom Of Page).

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Considering the time I have left on this planet, I could not bear to transfer of all my complex exams and materials to another testing program. For example, In some exams I had 26 choices (A-Z) for each question. Guessing the correct answers was extremely unlikely. Completing all 5 exams took my students an average of 100 hours. Asking someone with an advanced degree in biology would also take them many days, and hopefully they would not give away all the answers; however, if one or more bright students posted all of the correct answers on the Internet, my system would be in great jeopardy! Consequently, I never posted the correct answers. Because some of the questions were quite difficult, I also posted HINT PAGES for each exam and numerous crossword puzzles. BTW, this was all hand-coded using the Arachnophilia cross-platform (Java) text editor.

  Exam #4 Mendelian Genetics & Immunology  
  Exam #4 Answer Sheet Submission Form  
  Hints For Biology 101 Exam #4  
  Hints For Genetics Extra Credit Questions  
  Biology 101 Course Outline  
  Biology 101 Grades Spring 2006  
  Crossword Puzzles To Help Students With My High Memory Load Classes