# Tipos de Questões para Exames

Uma das mais difíceis tarefas no ensino de Mineração de Dados é o tipo de abordagem de avaliação, na qual sempre entra em questão a escolha questões discursivas em detrimento de provas de múltipla escolha. No site do Bill Gasarch são apresentadas sete formas para elaboração de questões para exames.

1) A problem that some students can get right even if they never had the course because they have seen it in some other course. EXAMPLE: In a course on Ramsey Theory have a question that uses the Prob. Method. PRO: The question is still in scope for the courses. CON: A bit awkward that someone may have learned the material elsewhere. UPSHOT: This is FINE.

2) A problem that some students can get right even if they never had the course because they are quite clever. EXAMPLE: Easy Combinatorics or Probability in a sophomore Discrete Math Course. PRO: The question is still in scope for the courses. CON: A bit awkward that someone may have missed class but still got it right. UPSHOT: This is FINE.

3) A rigged question— students saw two examples in class, two examples on the HW and now have to do one themselves. EXAMPLE: proving numbers irrational. PRO: Clearly in scope and fair. PRO: They will surely understand what you are asking for. CON: They may get it right via memory rather than understanding (they may not even know the difference.) UPSHOT: This is FINE though it requires some planning ahead of time.

4) A rigged question with a twist— students saw two examples in class, two examples on the HW and now have to do one themselves but its DIFFERENT in an important way. EXAMPLE: In class and HW do many problems like Here is the distribution, here is a random var, what is its expected value but on the exam give Here is a random var, here is what we want for the expected value, give a distribution that gives us that. PRO: Harder to memorize template. CON: May be hard to grade as they say odd things. CON: May be confusing to know what you are asking for, even for good students. UPSHOT: This is FINE though it requires some planning ahead of time.

5) A problem that requires utter mastery of the material but no creative thought. EXAMPLE: Give the algorithm (that we did in class) for proving that a CFG’s are in P. Write it up so that someone who had never seen it can understand it. PRO: Straightforward yet hard to get via memorization. CON: Might be too time consuming for an exam. CON: (From experience) no matter how much you say in bold letters things like Write it up so that someone who had never seen it can understand it. They will skip steps and write it up badly and its hard to tell if THEY really know it. UPSHOT: I do this but only in certain cases.

6) A problem that requires them to be creative (this is ill defined but its the opposite of the one above). PRO: If they truly understand the material they can do this. CON: My PRO may be incorrect. UPSHOT: Absolutely fine for HW which are not worth much for the grade anyway and I can enlighten them. I tend to avoid these on exams. Though the line between creativity and standard is a thin one. (Problem for an exam: How thin in millimeters?)

7) A giveaway question. When I teach Formal Lang Theory I have (going back to when I was Harry Lewis’s TA in 1981) have on the exam Give an example of a string of length 4 over the alphabet {a,b}. An unintended consequence- if they CAN”T do this its a really bad sign. I have asked this question many times and I have literally NEVER seen someone get it wrong and pass the course. I have gotten the following answers: ab*, ababa, and a DFA recognizing aaaa (that I was tempted to give credit to but did not). Incidentally, the most common right answer has always been abab. Second is abba. PRO: I have this one early in the exam to calm them down.