Collaborative Exam

It is Tuesday, May 18, which means grades are in. The crowd cheers! And I have had time to evaluate my collaborative exam design experiment.

On the whole I think it achieved the objective of making the students feel that they had a say in how they were evaluated. They came up with very good questions. In the future, I think I will need to spend some time helping them think more carefully about how they would answer each question. They ended up voting for the question that was the hardest to answer (!) and I’m not sure that they would have voted that way if we talked about it more thoroughly. The question was very good; it was just harder to answer than the others that were developed.

I also think if I were to do this again (and I might), I would need to do this both for the Mid-term and the Final. There was far too much material to expect them to be able to come up with questions that covered it all for the final. This year I left off a mid-term exam, but I think I will add one back in for next time.

All in all I think the students took ownership of their learning in this class. They helped each other and I challenged them on many occasions to think more deeply, and more broadly (of course, we’ll see what the course evaluation say about that!). I will miss this class of students.

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2 Responses to Collaborative Exam

  1. Pam Regis says:

    Interesting that students chose the hardest question. This aligns with Kathy Davidson’s turning the grading over to students (who were harder on each other than she would have been) and with conversations I’ve had with profs who let students help design the syllabus–resulting in a harder class than the prof would have designed if acting solo.

    Pam Regis

  2. gretchenmckay says:

    Yes. I was surprised by this as well. The “better” question – the one with more ways to answer and more images to which students could refer – was tied on the first round of voting. I was hoping it was that other question.

    I have been following the work of Davidson at Duke and hope she publishes her findings.

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