Getting Started: Exams

Should my exam include “clicker-style” questions?

Why not? You spend a lot of time thinking about what is really important for students to “get deeply” — that’s what you want to spend time discussing in class. So why wouldn’t these be the same things you assess on your exam?

A common concern is that, since they are multiple-choice, if you ask a question on the “same thing”, just changing the example, numbers, etc. that students will just memorize the clicker question answers, but not really have learned it. I came around to accepting that, while the questions seemed “identical” to ME, they weren’t to students… UNLESS they also understood the concept! One way to get a better feel for this issue is to take a clicker question and a related exam question to a colleague outside CS (your discipline) and ask if they think simply MEMORIZING one question would let a student answer the other question correctly.

Recommendation: Include at least SOME clicker question isomorphs on your exams (e.g. covers exactly same knowledge). Review the correctness group votes of your questions. For the lowest ones (below 90%?) you don’t yet have evidence that students have mastered that concept/content. Choose those especially.