Reflection After Exam #1
Univ. N. DakotaAuthor Profile
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Students did poorly on the first exam, so I borrowed and modified this exercise. It is intended to get them to think about what THEY can do to improve performance on future exams. The original idea came from Marsha Lovett at Carnegie Mellon, was modified by Karl Wirth at Macalester, and then modified by me.
This could be used in any course. It is particularly useful if a class, overall, has not performed at a high level on an exam. If would be much less effective if students had done well.
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
I use this sort of exercise after most exams.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
This exercise helps them develop assessment, evaluative and critical thinking skills.
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
A self reflection after an exam helps students understand why they performed as they did. If students did not perform at a high level, there are things that they could do differently in the future. But, if they are not asked to stop and think about them shortly after an exam, the teachable moment is lost.
Metacognitive components of the activityStudents reflect about what worked and what did not work for them when they took an exam. They are forced to think about changes they can make to improve performance.
Metacognitive goals for this activity:To help students improve their exam preparation skills.
Assessing students' metacognitionI have student feedback that confirms that the vast majority think this exercise was very beneficial.
Determining whether students have met the goals
It is easy to see if the goals are met just by reading what they submit. Additional feedback can come from discussions with the class or with individuals.More information about assessment tools and techniques.
Teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment (Microsoft Word 106kB Oct29 08)
- To help students prepare for an exam, consider taking the VARK (more info) survey. VARK stands for Visual, Aural, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic learning. This survey instrument is used to help students (and faculty) determine their own preference of learning style.
Use the on-line VARK Questionnaire to determine students' learning style preferences. This is a set of 16 on-line multiple choice questions that only take a few minutes to answer. The results of the survey, with an indication of the learning style preferences, are immeditely provided on-line.
Then use the VARK Helpsheets to develop strategies to prepare for and take exams according to these different learning styles. The end results: SWOT (Study With Out Tears!).
Thanks to Alan Boyle, University of Liverpool, for introducing this approach to the 2003 On the Cutting Edge "Teaching Petrology" workshop!