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The word Exam on a blackboard behind a teacher with hands folded.

Exam, Teacher, Board

Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Dutton Digest, March 2024

March 18th, 2024

Following Spring Break, and as the days are lengthening, the end of the semester seems to be in sight! This is the perfect time to consider end-of-semester assessment plans, an important component of every course. If you’re looking for some new ideas, consider the following:

Encourage collaboration, community, and some agency with an activity that turns your exam into a learning tool. This requires some organization and class time, but you might find that this positive practice becomes a favorite! See Using an Exam as a Learning Tool, part of the Assessments as Learning Tools section of the Dutton Institute’s Teaching and Learning Showcase.

For papers and projects you assign as assessments, it’s a great idea to share examples of high-quality submissions and evaluate them with your students (just remember that you’ll need permission from past students if you want to share their work). Dismantling a submission and analyzing its parts with your students is a great way to spend some time comprehending the assignment’s components and the effectiveness of the final product. A related exercise might be collaborating with your students to build a rubric for an assessment. This will reveal students’ thoughts (right or wrong) about what they deem to be important for producing a high-quality submission.

Using assignment wrappers can help you and your students partner to analyze their learning. An assignment wrapper, essentially, is a communication tool used with assessment activities. Find an example you can put to use, and learn more in Using an Assignment Wrapper for Task Analysis.

Post-assessment activities are also great ways to help students consider their assessment results and think about what has worked well for them and what hasn’t. These activities can help students consider how to tackle assessments differently in the future. Find an example and more information in Using Post-assessment Activities for Task Analysis.