About 75% of overall grade. Exams are given at the university testing center. There is no time limit. Typically it takes about 1-2 hours. Exams are mostly multiple choice mixed with short answer about their reason. Exams are closed book/notes exams. Students are allowed to bring in a calculator and prepare a formula sheet on which students are allowed to put anything they think will help them. Exam allows to testing students more comprehensive questions. These questions test not only a single concept, but more importantly test their understanding of statistical reasoning and problem solving. In general, I am comfortable that these exams reflect students' understanding of the knowledge. Center has its rules to minimize cheating. Formula sheet must be turned with the exam booklet and scrap papers.
- Use of Exams Are "exams" a component of your students' course grade? What percentage of the overall grade are from exams? What is the format of your main exams? Would you characterize these exams as mostly multiple choice, short answer, longer answer questions, or some mixture?
- Are these in-class exams or take-home exams?
What time restrictions do you place on the exams?
How many students do you expect to finish in the time allotted?
- Why do you use exams? Do you feel exams are an important reflection of students' abilities?
- Do you take any safeguards to try to minimize student cheating? Please describe the concern and how you respond (e.g., seating arrangements, multiple versions of exams).
Tables required for the exams are provided.
- External Aids Do you allow students to use any external reference aids on exams? (For example, open book, open notes, student supplied note pages or formulas, instructor supplied note pages.)
- For instructor supplied aids, please describe. For any student supplied aids, what restrictions do you enforce? (For example, number of pages, content such as not allowing worked out examples, authorship such as personally generated vs. photocopied.)
Students are required to bring a calculator and allowed to preparing a page of formula sheet on which students are allowed to put anything they think will help them, including worked out examples.
Students are required to bring a calculator. They can use it in anyway.
- Use of Technology
Do you allow/encourage students to use any technology on exams? If so, what type (computer, calculator) and what restrictions do you put on their use? Do you include any additional safeguards against cheating based on the technology? Does the technology used on exams correspond to the technology used on homework or in class?
Both calculators and computer are used on homework and in class.
The exam questions usually start with a real world problem. Questions are designed to cover a sequence of concepts. The solution of a question is designed by trying to prevent the use of the solutions from previous questions, but use the concepts from previous questions within the same real world problem. True/False questions are also common in the exam. They usually test a specific concept and the relation between concepts. Usually three points for each question. An exam usually consists of 35 questions before final. Final usually consists of 52 questions. Over 905 of the questions are conceptual knowledge/interpretation and reasoning questions.
In constructing exam questions, do you focus on the content and construct a realistic setting for the questions or do you start with a real problem and try to match the course content? In other words, how much do you strive to use real data as opposed to hypothetical or realistic data in the exam questions?
- In constructing the exam, how do you decide how many points a question should be worth? What percentage of the points on the exam would you say are for primarily conceptual knowledge/interpretation vs. calculation/mechanics?
I decide the important concepts to be tested first. Then, I look for some
real world data sets that may be appropriate for the concepts covered
and some concepts questions such as true/false questions that I gave
previously. I also consider some real world scenarios and create
questions based on the scenarios without having the actual data values.
- Exam Writing Process
Describe the PROCESS that you use to write an exam from scratch. For example, how do you get started? What steps do you go through? Do you
have another instructor review your questions? How do you decide if the exam is reasonable timewise? Also, after you have given an exam, how do
you decide for yourself if it was a good exam?
I run some analyses myself before developing questions. Using the
results, I began to think about questions that will test the important
concepts I intend to test. Some questions will be multiple
choice questions, some questions will be reasoning questions and some
will be true/false questions.
I do not ask another instructor reviewing questions. However, on many
occasions, we share each other the type of questions we use.
This is really from the experience. We have a testing center to monitor
our tests. In the summary report, the amount of time spent by each
student was also recorded. This gives me data to decide if the exam is
We have a testing center to monitor our tests. The summary report sent
to instructor also includes the percent of students who answered each choice of multiple choice questions. This summary gives me good ideas on how
students chose their answers and knowing how I chose the choices gives me good ideas as to why they made mistakes. The formative summary of this
assessment report tells me the degree of difficulty for each question
and where the mistakes were. I usually look for a balance of some
difficult and some easier questions. An average and median between 70%
to 80% would be considered a good exam. In addition, I look for the
level of difficulty and where/why they made mistakes as
feedback for revising my instructional approach in the future semesters.
Use analytical scoring along with holistic scoring for their interpretation or reasoning.
- Exam Grading
In grading the exam, do you use an analytic or a holistic scoring scheme (assigning points for individual steps or overall "level" of solution)? Do students start at 0 points and earn points for correct statements or do they start at 100% and lose points for mistakes? Do you give partial credit for answers and if so, how do you assign partial credit? Do you have an expected "average" score on the exam for each class? Do you "curve" exam scores?
- Do you use a straight total or percentage correct to be added to other points in the course to contribute towards a total grade, or do you give a grade to each exam?
- In assigning course grades, do you "curve" student scores? Based on what mechanisms?
Students start at 100% and lose points for mistakes.
In general, they do not get partial credit for multiple choice questions. However, they may lose additional point for incorrect interpretation or their reasoning.
There is no expected average score. However, I have a good idea about the average score for each test from exams of previous years. In general, scores are not curved during the semester. However, the final class grade may be adjusted for borderline scores.
The straight total at the end of semester is used for final grade. No grade is given to each exam.
The course grades are, in general, not curved, except for borderline cases.
Virtually no class time is spent to review for an exam. Occassionally I offer out of class review sessions, but this is not a norm. There is no review sheet. However, I develop a web site for online exercises. There are a collection of problems with detailed solutions on this online assessment site. Every student can logon and do their practice as many times as they want. The site also collect the duration time each student are on the site. A summary of the frequency of chosen answers are reported. This allows a quick check on how students understand each concept.
for the Exam How much class time do you spend reviewing for an exam? Do you offer out-of-class review sessions? Do you supply review sheets and/or review problems? Is student participation in such review experiences mandatory or optional?
The online assessment site is available at anytime. Students are encouraged to do these online problems, but not required.
About 20 to 30 minutes to go over the questions where over 1/3 of students made mistakes.
- Post-Exam Feedback
How much class time do you spend going over the exam afterwards? What do you discuss (e.g., the entire exam, the most difficult problems, how the exam was scored)? How specifically do you discuss student responses to exam questions after they have been returned? What information do you convey to students about score distributions? Do you give them access to an exam key? What other types of feedback do you give them about their exam performance? (Do you write comments on the exams, correct their mistakes, or just indicate points? Do you consider students as losing points for mistakes or as gaining points with correct answers?)
Only questions with more than 1/3 of students making mistakes are discussed.
Students received a report card from the testing center. The report card include a total score for the exam, the questions missed and student's own answer. Students are encouraged to come to office hours to discuss each question they missed.
Scores are usually summarized using stem-leave plot along with mean, median, highest, lowest, standard deviation.
They are not given access to an answer key. However, each student is encouraged to come to discuss their work during office hours.
The exam is scored right after finishing the exam. They immediately know there scores and questions they missed. The comments made in class are usually about the performance of the whole class, and discussion of questions missing by more than 1/3 of students. Students usually use office hours to talk about individual performance.
The system I use perhaps more close to losing points for mistakes.