Rethinking Your Exams

Have you been writing final exams for your courses?  It may even be possible that you have been writing many exams throughout the semester.  What purposes are your exams serving as a part of your course?  According to Kevin Gannon (2017), Director of the Center of Excellence in Teaching & Learning and Professor of History and Grandview University, exams should not be used to punish students.  We should instead use exams to challenge students to demonstrate their understanding for specific learning objectives which align to the course. Gannon further explains his thinking by describing how he designs exams that provide a roadmap for the set learning objectives.  Just as each assignment coincides with learning objectives, each exam should also coincide with specific learning objectives.  

Exams are a great tool instructors can use to provide evidence students have met specific learning objectives.  It is not enough to prove that learning has occurred, but it is important that instructors are proving what has specifically been learned.  Gannon (2017) describes how he uses his learning outcomes to decide how he will format an assessment.  For more information on how Dr. Gannon has been rethinking his exams visit his article titled Rethinking My Exams here:  

Gannon, K. (2017, March 6). Rethinking my exams. Retieved from