Suppose I deliver a 1.5-hour lecture on Python programming on each Monday. Generally, the passing criteria is to take a comprehensive exam at the end of the semester.

What if I eliminate the final comprehensive exam and replace it with a class test at the beginning of each lecture?

E.g., I start the semester on February 5, 2024. On the first day, I deliver a lecture. Then, on February 12, 2024, I conducted a 15-minute multiple-choice or one-line or one-word short-question test on the lecture that I delivered on February 5, 2024.

The final grade will be based on the average of all the tests.

What kind of issue may arise in this system?

  • @xxxxxxxxx, Yes, I am teaching.
    – user366312
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


I once had a Calculus class with a professor who started almost every class with the statement "Please take out a sheet of paper". Pop quiz time. The quizzes count, but not for the entire grade. We hated that guy, but we learned Calculus. That is the tradeoff.

It is the stick half of the carrot and stick approach. You knew that you needed to study for every class. The difference was, however, that the quiz was at the beginning, covering recent material, forcing you to stay up to date. I think it would be less valuable at the end of the class. At the end of class, a quiz would rely more on short term memory rather than real learning. The next class period tries to force some review of material which aids learning.

I once had an "end of class" ritual that seemed effective, though probably only for the most attentive students. It wasn't graded. I started doing this because I found that (in a CS class) many students weren't taking notes, thinking, incorrectly, that they would just remember what they saw and heard in the class. I spent some time teaching them to take notes on index cards during the class, rather than either doing nothing or trying to capture every word. One "big idea" per card. At the end of the class, I'd take a minute or two and ask "What was the most important idea today", hoping that they had captured it. People would volunteer ideas and I'd confirm, or not. I also encouraged them to spend some time within a few hours to summarize the cards for the class (on other cards) and to carry a bunch of the cards about during the day to review.

For more on this notecard idea see Hipster PDA in my answer to a question on another site.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .