Two Stage Exams
Two stage exams involve letting students first complete an exam individually like normal, but then you allow them to get into groups and take the same or a revised version of the exam again. You might have the first exam count 85% and the group exam count for 15%, for example.
This allows students to review the questions on the exam and learn from one another. This way, students who do poorly on the first individual part of the exam can learn from others about what they missed and not get caught going further and further behind the rest of the class. Thus this can help struggling students turn it around in your class, and also essentially teach students how to learn and succeed in your course.
Below are some resources, examples, and videos illustrating how to implement a two stage exam in your own course.
Here is a video of students in Jay Gokhale’s students doing a two stage exam. Note the contrast between the first stage and second stage. In the first stage, students are quietly taking the exam individually:
In the second stage, students are in groups actively discussing the questions:
- The Two Stage Exams page at UBC has several resources including a video of people implementing two stage exams.
- Two Stage Exams (pdf) handout
- Tips for Successful Two Stage Exams (pdf)
- Using Group Exams In Your Classes (pdf)
- An Improved Design for In-Class Review (pdf)
At Embry-Riddle, several faculty are trying out two stage exams in various ways, including:
- Jay Gokhale in the College of Business
- Kay Deshpande in Physics
- Fred Drullion in Mathematics
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