Grading and Feedback

Preparing for Comprehensive Finals

Students don’t like comprehensive exams because most of them don’t use good cross-course study strategies. They wait until finals week and then they start reviewing. Here are some ways teachers can help students develop and use study strategies that make preparing for and doing well on

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More on How Students Do and Don’t Use Feedback

It’s not the first time we’ve addressed the issue: why don’t students use our feedback to improve their performance (their writing, their exams, their professional skills)? A revisit is justified because it’s such an important question and because answers are more elusive than we might

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A Grade Forecasting Strategy

I give my second-year undergraduate students the opportunity to forecast their final course grades while the course is still under way. The goal of this predictive or prognostic feedback is to help the students develop a more realistic assessment of their progress in the course

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Thinking about Writing Assignments Developmentally

Often the articles highlighted in The Teaching Professor are examples of pedagogical scholarship that could beneficially be done in many fields. That is the case with this piece on developing writing assignments, but it also contains content useful to any faculty member who uses writing

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Test-Item Order: Does It Matter? A Response

Because research into the effects of test-item order on exam performance has produced equivocal results, the editor recently suggested that “it is not a bad idea for instructors to systematically order test items and analyze the results to see how test-item order might be affecting

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A New Way to Assess Student Learning

I’m “reflecting” a lot these days. My tenure review is a few months away, and it’s time for me to prove (in one fell swoop) that my students are learning. The complexity of this testimonial overwhelms me because in the context of the classroom experience,

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Cumulative Exams

Students don’t like them—that almost goes without saying. They prefer unit exams that include only material covered since the previous exam. And they’d like it even better if the final wasn’t a comprehensive exam but one last unit test. But students don’t always prefer what

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Test-Item Order: Does It Matter?

Frequently instructors discourage cheating on multiple-choice exams by creating different versions of the exam. Test questions may be reordered randomly, according to their degree of difficulty, or in the order the material was presented in class, or the answer options may be ordered differently. The

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