Are Group Exams a Viable Testing Option?
Group work doesn’t always have the best reputation. Learn how to overcome common concerns about group exams and how to employ them to increase student learning and improve outcomes for students and for you.
Group work doesn’t always have the best reputation.
So imagine the reaction you’ll get when you put students into groups not for an activity but for an exam.
And for all the criticism you get from students, you can expect just as much – if not more – from your colleagues.
So if no one likes the idea of group assessments, why are we even talking about them?
Like many things inside academia and out, group exams are not bad. They’re just misunderstood.
When used correctly, group exams can be incredibly powerful tools that minimize testing anxiety for students, promote peer learning, and model real-world problem solving.
And like many of the best approaches in teaching, they are scalable and adaptable to just about every discipline and level.
So if you’ve heard the whispers about group exams and want to find out whether they are the real deal or merely fantasy, you’ll want to watch Are Group Exams a Viable Testing Option?, a Magna 20-Minute Mentor with Maryellen Weimer.
As the editor of The Teaching Professor newsletter and blog, Weimer regularly and enthusiastically pursues strategies that keep students and instructors engaged and successful.
As she began to explore group exams, she quickly discovered that they were used more often than she expected and more successfully than she imagined. In this 20-minute video, she will share what she has learned about why group exams can work and how to incorporate them into your courses.
Product Code: PM14JA
Group exams are growing more prevalent, but they are still not typically utilized because of several common objections.
Weimer addresses those concerns and explains how to adapt group exams to fit into individual instructional comfort zones.
She shares several common approaches and interpretations of group assessments along with several reasons to give them a try – all in just 20 minutes.
Are Group Exams a Viable Testing Option? presents real solutions that have worked for other instructors and that can work for you.
When you are finished with this program, you will know:
- The most common objections to group exams
- How group exams can be scaled to fit your comfort level
- How to structure group exams so that you can accurately measure individual learning
- How to keep group exams challenging yet fair
- How to use group exams to facilitate greater learning
- How group exams can promote peer learning among students
- How group exams can better prepare students for careers after graduation
Group exams can bestow many unique benefits that are nearly impossible to realize with traditional independent assessments.
When used thoughtfully and appropriately, group exams offer benefits that far outweigh any perceived risks.
But the best thing about these powerful tools is that you can employ group exams only if you choose to do so, and only when you are ready.
Maryellen Weimer has edited The Teaching Professor newsletter since 1987 and writes the Teaching Professor Blog.
The Teaching Professor Blog features a new weekly post from Maryellen on such topics as: the scholarship of teaching and learning, classroom policies, active learning, assessment, generational differences, and student performance.
She is a professor emerita of Teaching and Learning at Penn State Berks and won Penn State’s Milton S. Eisenhower award for distinguished teaching in 2005. Dr. Weimer has a Ph.D. in Speech Communication from Penn State.
Dr. Weimer has consulted with over 450 colleges and universities on instructional issues and regularly keynotes national meetings and regional conferences throughout the US and Canada.
She has published several books, including: Inspired College Teaching: A Career-Long Resource for Professional Growth (Jossey-Bass, 2010), Enhancing Scholarly Work on Teaching and Learning: Professional Literature that Makes a Difference (Jossey-Bass, 2006), Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice (Jossey-Bass, 2002).
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