Testing is primarily used for assessment purposes. It is a way for a teacher to determine if students have mastered the required material. After exams are graded they are often returned to the students with the intention that students will review their incorrect answers and understand their errors. In reality, most students just look at their grade and file the exam away. They never follow through to understand what they did wrong or to learn the concept they missed.
Rather than reviewing exams in class and providing students with the correct answer, have students make “corrections” on their exam. This strategy will help to ensure that they not only understand why their answer was incorrect but also better understand the concepts. When making corrections, require the students to provide the following:
Consider assigning a point value to this exercise, and allowing the students to earn some extra credit on their exam. For example, each question that is corrected, with detailed explanations, might earn back 1/3 the original number of points. As a result, students will be more likely to engage in this activity and complete the assignment.
To follow up on any of these ideas, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This Weekly Teaching Note was adapted from a contribution to the Teaching and Learning Writing Consortium hosted at Western Kentucky University and organized by Seneca College and New York Institute of Technology.
Cecile M. Roberti
Community College of Rhode Island
Department of Business Administration
Weekly Teaching Notes: 2014-2015 Index
Include High-Impact Teaching Practices to Make Learning Stick
Use Elements of Cognitive Constructivism to Design Effective Learning Activities
Develop Expertise in Students by Creating Cognitive Apprenticeships
Improving Student Learning with (Almost) No Grading