A Group Final Exam Opportunity Increases End-of-Semester Student Motivation

Credit: iStock.com/Drazen Zigic
Credit: iStock.com/Drazen Zigic

With the end of the semester looming, how often have you begun class wondering where the students have gone? Does it seem like the first day of class had every seat filled, but now there are a lot more seats open? That used to be my experience, but I have found that providing a group final at the end of the semester has been a game-changer for student motivation. Even at the end of the semester, students attend class, engage with the material, and help their groupmates master difficult concepts to earn the right to participate in the group final.

In addition to enhancing motivation across the semester, group final exams offer two key learning opportunities: (1) engaging in deeper learning about the course content and (2) practicing transferrable workplace skills. First, group final exams provide opportunities for students to test their knowledge of challenging course concepts as they justify their answer choices and evaluate peers’ suggested answers against their own understanding to reach an agreement. Second, working toward consensus allows students to practice workplace skills that are in high demand by employers, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork, and communication (Finley, 2021).


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