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Developing Exam Technique: Balloon Analysis!

Graham Prior

9th May 2014

This is an old technique I used with my students to demonstrate good analysis. It is simple and only involves one thing; blowing up a balloon.

No matter how hard I try I cannot blow up a balloon fully in one go. It takes me 4 or 5 stages (blows) until I manage it.

This is a bit like analysis. Many students like to try and 'blow up a balloon in one go'. Can't be done properly! All you end up with is a rather sad looking balloon! To blow up a balloon properly you need to take 4 or 5 logical steps, a bit like an answer.

Many students take a huge leap in their answers and jump immediately to '.....and this will result in extra revenue and profit' without actually saying HOW or WHY this will end up in extra revenue and profit'.

Try it with the students...it might just hit a nerve......

Graham Prior

Graham is an experienced teacher, examiner, moderator and lover of education with a passion for teaching and learning.

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