Questions about test-based evaluation of student progress and achievement.

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60
votes
4answers
7k views

Didn't pay attention to rules and created an illegal note card for exam?

For final exam in my university chemistry class, a note sheet, 8 by 11, was allowed. You could put anything on the sheet, however it was to remain 1-sided. Of all things, I forgot about the last rule, ...
24
votes
6answers
4k views

Why are [some] professors ambiguous about material that is actually tested on exams?

I've noticed a majority of professors that I have had will tell students something along the lines of, the exam covers Chapters 1, 2, 3, or the exam covers topics X, Y, Z. Sometimes this is ends up ...
-7
votes
0answers
111 views

What should a student do when a verbally agreed on contract for a deferred examination is not honored? [on hold]

First of all, apologizes ahead of time for the anonymity. I wish to protect the parties involved. I recently applied for a deferral for an examination on the basis that a professor had accepted my ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Why do graduate programs have comprehensive examinations (comps)? [duplicate]

I'm about to begin studying for the comprehensive examinations (comps) my masters program (Computer Information Systems) requires. I'm curious as to the point of even having them in the first place. ...
11
votes
1answer
505 views

Does it make sense to make exam grading very transparent?

Is it advisable (in terms of the benefit for the students and the work it causes) to make the grading completely transparent to students? I think for instance of publishing the sample solutions for ...
-1
votes
4answers
1k views

Why would my teacher's dean care when I took the final?

The class was scheduled to take the final next week. I wanted to take the test this week, because there's some place I was planning to be on the day of the final. My teacher said that doesn't count ...
-1
votes
1answer
217 views

Can a professor accuse a student of cheating on an exam without witnessing it firsthand? [closed]

Can a professor accuse someone of cheating after checking his or her test? How is that possible, if the professor has not caught the student cheating red-handed?
42
votes
6answers
9k views

Teacher takes pictures of students during exams and posts them on social media

There's this teacher who takes pictures of his students during exams, and posts them on social media, with the knowledge of the students. A lot of people enjoy these pictures (including the students), ...
14
votes
8answers
4k views

Is it fair to punish absent students with a one-question exam?

I recently came across a post (that I won't disclose because it contains the professor's last name): Attendance in this course was regularly low, so the professor used a one-question exam to punish ...
-5
votes
2answers
133 views

Can I study myself and take the PhD quals in math *without* being a math PhD/masters student yet? [closed]

I'm an undergrad but wondering if it's possible to jump queue. Don't worry about my ability. Is the option possible? I want to "fly into a window" into maths grad studies because my GPA has been ...
5
votes
5answers
178 views

Is differentiated instruction permitted by universities?

In primary and secondary school in the US, some teachers will adjust homework so that it is a better match for students. For example, a teacher might give a strong math student more advanced math ...
30
votes
14answers
9k views

Is it professional for a professor to ask “surprise” questions on a test?

To clarify, I am asking if it's professional to ask questions that while relevant to the subject/course, and are related to the topic, but have not been discussed in class, assigned as homework, ...
10
votes
3answers
817 views

How should a teaching-assistant calm his anxious student down in an exam?

At the class quizzes or at the mid- or final exams, I can see that some students are too anxious and nervous. They are not really weak students but too much anxiousness brings their efficiency down ...
16
votes
6answers
1k views

How to calibrate the time constraint of an exam for a new course?

I am preparing an exam for a course I'm running. It's an engineering course; the exam problems require students to apply conceptual knowledge and quantitative skills taught in lectures and labs. It's ...
24
votes
11answers
6k views

What should I let students do when they finish exams early?

I organized my students to take their exams in the school’s computer labs. Some students finished well before others. In each section, I tried different policies for what students should do in this ...
26
votes
11answers
2k views

How to deal with cheating when university policy is ineffective?

I am co-teaching a relatively large class with two other colleagues in a big university. Each semester, most students are amazing, trustworthy, and well-behaved and it is a pleasure to work with my ...
36
votes
12answers
7k views

Is it fair for me to drink caffeine during tests?

For some of my more difficult and early morning tests, I will buy coffee and bring it with me into the exam. My hope is that the caffeine will help me be fully alert, think more clearly, and write ...
3
votes
2answers
562 views

What is considered cheating in an open book exam?

A common belief is that open book exams reduces cheating since all the information that a student would wish to look up is already with them. Open book exam therefore tests a person's knowledge and ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

What to do if most of the students did badly in the 1st midterm?

What to do if the average of the 1st midterm is like 35%? Should I repeat the exam? should I ask them to redo the problems in which most of them did poorly in the exam and average the old score and ...
4
votes
3answers
427 views

When and how should you talk to a professor if you think you deserve a different grade?

I recently was returned a midterm I wrote. One question I interpreted differently than what was intended. As a result I got 0.5/3 marks, which isn't a big deal but considering the test was only out of ...
58
votes
18answers
33k views

I was caught cheating on an exam, how can I minimize the damage?

I got caught cheating in a two-hour engineering exam consisting of 100 multiple choice questions which was done online through the moodle e-learning software. I feel like my life is almost over. ...
10
votes
1answer
153 views

Has any research been done into the marks awarded by markers using different strategies for exams with multiple questions?

I think anyone who's ever marked an exam with more than one question or section has wondered how to attack it, i.e. Option 1) Mark all of the questions in a single script before moving onto the next ...
0
votes
1answer
162 views

Awarding additional points to prevent too many students from failing course

Is it acceptable, if too many students in the class would fail otherwise, to award additional points across the board (in the one class, in one semester)? Would it require approval of the Division ...
4
votes
2answers
435 views

What is the best way to appeal an unfair qualifier exam decision?

Recently, I took the PhD qualifier exams for my department. In my dept. there are 3 exams, each covering a subfield (say subfield A, B, and C). First you are given an hour to work through several ...
-2
votes
1answer
92 views

How to overcome running out of time in a programming exam? [closed]

I am in my first semester of an intended degree of software engineering.Python is the first thing I am taking and I have not taken programming before. As far as I can see, I come up with algorithms ...
6
votes
2answers
177 views

Pedagogical reasons for closed-book exams in graduate-level courses?

Is there any research/study/survey that looked at the pedagogical benefits of assessing students with closed-book exams for graduate-level courses (vs. open-book exams)? I'm mostly interested in ...
-1
votes
2answers
190 views

How to prepare for a math exam in a course without homework or tests?

Here are the features of an advanced graduate mathematics course: 24 hours of optional lectures over the course of the term; No homework, labs, guided assignments, quizzes, tests, previous year ...
29
votes
9answers
5k views

Are there tools to prevent students from cheating on a programming exam administered on computers?

I'm teaching an Introduction to Computer Science Course, where we mainly do C programming. I've been assigned a lab for teaching the course, but there are more students than available computers. Also, ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

When is it wrong to look at previous exams?

It is clear that if I study for an exam in 2014, then it should be okay to look at previous exams from the previous semester of 2014, exams from 2013, 2012, etc. First question: Is it wrong, however, ...
4
votes
2answers
980 views

Are Identical Make-up Exams Fair?

I recently took an exam, and our professor told us that we should submit our question sheets since 2 other students in our class are going to take a make-up exam. We were also told that we were not ...
18
votes
7answers
5k views

Prof disagrees with assigned textbook regarding an exam question

This actually happened to my wife, but for the sake of simplicity I'll talk about it as if it happened to me. I wrote a final exam for a university course last week, and a couple days ago I got my ...
1
vote
0answers
204 views

How can I remain motivated while studying for comprehensive exams?

At my university, the MS and PhD programs in Computer Science have comprehensive exams. The exams retest the student on topics from designated core courses. The exams are separate from the course ...
2
votes
2answers
245 views

Lectures and labs on the same day as an exam?

I'm taking a two day workshop at a technical institute, the instructor has said that all accredited courses must have final exams. Fair enough. Since this is such a short course the exam will be on ...
10
votes
1answer
159 views

Are there formal studies analyzing available test time versus performance?

Are there any studies showing that there is a direct connection (or a lack of a connection) between extending the time given for students to complete a written exam and their performance on the exam? ...
40
votes
7answers
7k views

How should bathroom breaks be handled during written exams to avoid cheating?

It seems to me that it is impossible to prevent cheating (as in: communicating and getting help from outside) if one allows students to use the restroom during written classroom tests. Excluding ...
2
votes
3answers
252 views

advantages and disadvantages of white-box testing of students assignments?

This is a fork of my question homework-testing-method-for-schools but i'm taking it in another direction. I was asking about a homework testing method that'll encourage students to write better code ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

homework testing method for schools - how to encourage good practices and design and reduce reliance on proofreading?

I've looked a lot for this kind of question and couldn't find anything, I think the answers here could be helpful to schools. My collage has problems with it's homework testing system and I'd like ...
37
votes
11answers
8k views

Preventing leaking exam papers/cheating using phone cameras?

I work at an educational institution where exam papers are considered protected. Leaking the exam question sheet and taking photocopies or camera shots is considered illegal and is strictly ...
10
votes
1answer
390 views

Dealing with emails that could be interpreted as being endorsed by you

Student A had an examination the other day for a course that he liked very much and by a professor that he admires. There were only 4 students in the course. After the examination he opened his email ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I convince my professor to let me retake an exam?

I have missed my makeup exam this semester. We are given 3 chances at my university to pass a course, 1 regular, a retake and a third exam for those who failed the previous 2 ones. I missed the third ...
22
votes
11answers
8k views

Is it dishonest to guess on multiple choice exams?

I have never seen a thing, until recently, like someone not marking a cross on a multiple choice test just because he didn't know the answer. I wonder whether this is a East Asian right-thing-to-do ...
11
votes
2answers
214 views

Methods for Assessing The Performance of an Exam

What are some common methods for assessing how well a exam works, once you have the results back? This is something of a generalization of How to measure entropy of exam results. I've seen ...
-1
votes
2answers
460 views

Using WolframAlpha for a take-home exam

Is it ethical to use WolframAlpha on a take-home exam for a math class? A couple qualifiers: this is a make-up exam where the original exam allowed for a scientific calculator but not a ...
8
votes
2answers
402 views

How to offer fair exam retakes?

Within my college, teachers generally allow any student who earned a D or lower on an exam, to retake the exam. While I do not need to follow this policy in my courses, many students expect their ...
2
votes
2answers
172 views

Access to Community Colleges in US

I'm a teacher in a Vocational Education school in Spain. In our Vocational Education system, we have two different levels: Vocational High School (post compulsory secondary school) Community College ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there an alternative to traditional exams?

It seems like the traditional exam model (two midterms at 30% and one final at 40% of the grade, closed book) is flawed. For instance: Students are not allowed to access resources, whereas in ...
12
votes
4answers
451 views

Should previous final exams be released to students?

In general, you can find the past exams for the past 15 years or so at my school. However I had one prof in Calculus III who chose to withhold his exams. This was the only instance in which a prof has ...
10
votes
4answers
998 views

Pedagogical reasons for time-limited exams

Reading the various questions about open-book and closed-book examinations got me wondering: Is there any sound pedagogical reason for a time-limited examination (closed or open) at the ...
7
votes
3answers
798 views

Are open-book exams generally a superior way to test understanding on practical courses?

I understand why it would be a bad idea to allow math students access to paper materials as it is necessary for students to know the basic math formulas by heart. But what about advanced practical ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it wrong to impose a challenging time constraint on exams?

I've noticed that many professors seem to impose extremely tight time limits on their exams, even though the subject in question would never have such extreme time constraints in real life. For ...