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Group Exams?!

March 9, 2011

Do your students balk at doing group work?  Encourage better group participation by including group work on your exams.  According to Sandra Roberson from Furman University, group exams give students the opportunity to listen to others, defend their approaches, and rethink their positions.

Design the group portion of your exam to meet your needs.  Start simple by offering one group problem or case study as a part of the exam for a set amount of time.  Decide if the group will come to a consensus and offer one answer or if students will discuss the problem/case study and submit their individual answers.  Assign a relatively small percentage of points to the group problem, just 5 or 10 percent of the exam.

However you design your group exam, your students may suffer less from test anxiety as they rely on each other for at least one problem—and they may see greater value in learning to work in groups on a regular basis!

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