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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How to make students feel like guinea pigs

Scoring Rules and Decision Analysis Education

Bickel, J. Eric

  • Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

. Decision Analysis7.4 (Dec 2010): 346-357,405.

Experiential learning is perhaps the most effective way to teach. One example is the scoring procedure used for exams in some decision analysis programs. Under this grading scheme, students take a multiple-choice exam, but rather than simply marking which answer they think is correct, they must assign a probability to each possible answer. The exam is then scored with a special scoring rule, under which students' best strategy is to avoid guessing and instead assign their true beliefs. Such a scoring function is known as a strictly proper scoring rule. In this paper, we discuss several different scoring rules and demonstrate how their use in testing situations provides insights for both students and instructors. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]