students working together on an assessment

Topic Overview

“In a two-stage exam, students first complete and turn in the exam individually and then, working in small groups, answer the exam questions again. During the group part students receive immediate, targeted feedback on their solutions from their fellow students and see alternative approaches to the problems. This makes the exam itself a valuable learning experience while also sending a consistent message to the students as to the value of collaborative learning.”

-Carl Wieman

Strategies

Explain to the students why you are conducting exams this way

Once students understand the benefits of collaborative two-stage testing, most respond positively to the format.

Keep the logistics in mind

Make sure that students fully understand the process for moving between the individual and group portions of testing. Make the exam shorter than usual and keep group sizes small so that each student has the opportunity to contribute.

Resources

Diving Deeper/Research