Session 3 – Constructing Effective Assignments, Problem Sets, and Exam Questions

//Session 3 – Constructing Effective Assignments, Problem Sets, and Exam Questions
Session 3 – Constructing Effective Assignments, Problem Sets, and Exam Questions 2017-05-02T20:13:16+00:00

This session highlights ways in which exams, problem sets and homework assignments can be designed to best support student learning and understanding. Participants identify positive and negative attributes of sample homework problems and work collaboratively to redesign these problems in order to more effectively reinforce desired learning objectives.


1. In this session…

You will first read articles and prepare ideas that will be discussed in the videos. Next, you will watch video lectures where you will be instructed to pause and engage in a variety of activities, as well as think about the questions posed.

The outline is provided to serve as a guide to the session and serve as a support for note taking.

Download Session 3 Outline [ PDF / DOC ]
Download Complete Session 3 Video [ ZIP, 187 MB, 540 p ]


2. Learning Objectives

After completing this session, the participant will be able to:

  • Formulate and organize the use of problem sets and assignments in your course to enhance student learning.
  • Evaluate homework and exam problems using Bloom’s Taxonomy.
  • Create homework and exam problems that align with your desired learning objectives.

3. Pre-Session Activity

Read

  • McClymer, J. F., & Knoles, L. Z. (1992). Ersatz learning, inauthentic testing. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching3, 33–50.
  • Suskie, L. (2010). Chapter 10: Creating an effective assignment. In Assessing student learning: A common sense guide (2nd ed., pp. 155–164). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Review

  • You may also find it helpful to review the Bloom’s Taxonomy reading [ PDF ] from the session titled Designing a Course and Constructing a Syllabus.

Prepare

  • Please have a textbook from your discipline available to you while participating in this session. Choose a textbook that contains problems, such as those found at the end of each chapter. We will be working these textbook problems during the session.

4. Session Introduction

Welcome to the third session of our course, which will focus on the construction of effective assignments, problem sets, and exam questions. During this session we will have an introduction to this session’s goals and learning objectives. Then we will discuss the logistics of implementing assessments within your course and we will end with the development of effective assessment questions.


5. Logistics and Development

This session on the creation of effective homework and exam questions will be divided into two parts. First, we will discuss the logistics of assessment methods, then we will discuss the development of these assessments.


6. Interactive Activities

The final segment of this session will guide you through a discussion on the pre-session readings and a few interactive activities.

Think About

  • Do you have any experience with a course that did not have meaningful assessments?
  • How can we develop more meaningful problems or authentic testing situations to prepare our students?

Activity

Use the handout titled Moving Up and Down Bloom’s Taxonomy [ PDF / DOC ] with sample problems.

  1. Select one problem from the handout.
  2. Identify the problem’s core concept.
  3. Determine the level of Bloom’s Taxonomy that characterizes the cognitive level of the problem.
  4. Develop two new questions that address the same core concept, one for a higher cognitive level and one for a lower cognitive level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Practice

Use a textbook that is related to a course you teach or would like to teach.

  1. Select one problem from the textbook.
  2. Identify the problem’s core concept.
  3. Determine the level of Bloom’s Taxonomy that characterizes the cognitive level of the problem.
  4. Develop two new questions that address the same core concept, one for a higher cognitive level and one for a lower cognitive level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

7. Post-Session Activity

Exercise

Develop a set of questions or problems that address the students’ cognitive development at each level of Bloom’s taxonomy for one of the concepts for which you created a learning objective in the session titled Designing a Course and Constructing a Syllabus. At the end of this activity, you will have developed 6 new questions, one for each level of Bloom’s taxonomy. Be sure to include the concept that you are teaching and the appropriate learning objectives.


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