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Bernstein Project Feedback & Results

My courses routinely offer students more than one opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of the material found on exams. For each portion of the course students take a first version of the exam and we go over it in the following class, including explaining the grading rubric and answering questions about their individual answers. Students may take a second version of the exam made of variants on the original question themes, and the higher of the two scores is counted. I continued this practice in the course with deeper questions and web-based practice, and it is interesting to compare the benefits of this old standby teaching practice with the benefits of using first wave technology. As has been typical of my courses for many years, students do learn quite a bit more when they get feedback and have a chance to show their improved understanding. The data show that there are roughly twice as many students achieving in the 90s range with this format, and there are about half as many in the <=69 range. I appears that the majority of students move up at least one grade category, and often there are improvements of 20 or 30 points on a hundred point scale. When student understanding is the primary goal (rather than sorting or selecting students) this method has very consistent and positive results that can be tested for generalization to new contexts.


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