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"Do group exams improve retention of knowledge?"
Kathleen observed that student participation is passionate -- how can you assess if that passion translates into learning?

In addition to assessing learning (i.e., midterm answers), you could also ask students to write a reflection paper to see if they think the group discussion is useful. edited 15:12, 17 Jul 2009
Posted 15:04, 17 Jul 2009
Kathy, I still think it would be interesting to ask questions on the group exam that were not on the individual exam.
Posted 15:07, 17 Jul 2009
documentation of participation and enthusiasm--great idea
data measurement on final exam: make sure others agree the questions are isomorphic
students will have more practice thinking about the group questions; perhaps you can add in an additional assignment where they get some practice on the individual questions so that time on task is the same.
survey students: what did you do during the group exam that helped you learn this material in the future (this question will give you some similar phrases that you can quote!)
match the questions that are on the group exam in terms of "difficulty" with the question that are only taken individually
Nice idea!
Posted 15:13, 17 Jul 2009
Do you assign the groups or are they self-selected groups?
How do you select the subset of questions that will be consititute the group exam? Are they questions on concepts that you think are important? By selecting certain concepts rather than others, you may more effectively evaulate group learning.
Posted 15:13, 17 Jul 2009
I do group exams too and often wonder if it wouldn't be better to have the conversations before the exam too?
subset of exam Qs for group- concider higher level Bloom's
maybe think about collecting attitude information (survey or reflection paper) right after each exam instead of at the end of the semester?
Posted 15:13, 17 Jul 2009
I like the idea of having a survey at the end.
How will you describe what is happening during the group interaction?
Posted 15:13, 17 Jul 2009
Love it!
Do the students work in their "exam groups" during the regular class time?
A related question to consider in the future might be "Are they as excited and invested in the group work if it is not an exam?"
How will you decide which questions are going to be group questions?
Posted 15:13, 17 Jul 2009
I'm suprised that there's not more published on collaborative testing. Jenny's point about controlling for the effect of time important.
Posted 15:13, 17 Jul 2009
Can you measure the assionate nature of the participation? This might be a second phase of the study? Perhaps this is something a psychology student or education student could participate in. I think it is great to start with what you are most comfortable with - learning, then transition to some of these other aspects of group learning.

Perhaps you could pick the questions for the group test based on what they most missed on the written test or concepts they appeared to have the most problems with on the written exam.
Posted 15:13, 17 Jul 2009
Question: What if the group doesn't function? What is the contingency plan?

I assign my public health micro students to groups based on learner characteristics. At midterm I ask the students to evaluate their group:

1) How does the group help you?

2) How does the group hinder you?

3) Is there overall experience Favorable, Neutral or Unfavorable?

In addition to helping me manage groups, my administration likes the fact that I ask my students to assess my course design.
Posted 15:15, 17 Jul 2009
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