Have you given an exam in a course recently?  Perhaps a midterm that you are in the process of grading?  If so, then this week’s edition of Magna Mondays is for you!  We chose the 20-Minute Mentor “How Can Post-Exam Reviews Become a Powerful Teaching Strategy?” presented by Dr. Maria Marconi.  You can access the video in 20-Minute Mentor Commons in the Chapman University Magna Campus.  Dr. Marconi’s presentation has a special focus on standardized tests in health sciences programs, but the teaching strategies that she shares are universally relevant.

Why is it worth spending valuable class time on a post-exam review?

Spending a full class period or a portion of a class period after an exam to review the exam with students can benefit both students and instructors in multiple ways.  Some of the benefits of post-exam reviews include:

  • Promoting metacognition (students have an opportunity to think about their learning)
  • Providing formative and summative feedback
  • Exploring troublesome concepts/questions in greater depth
  • Reducing test taking anxiety for future exams
  • Reinforcing effective test taking strategies

How can I implement post-exam reviews in my class?

Dr. Marconi shares the following valuable tips:

  • Design post-exam reviews as an active learning strategy.  One way to do this is to identify a few concepts that most or all students struggled with on the exam.  During the post-exam review, spend some time on those concepts, then use Poll Everywhere or Kahoot! to present students with a few new questions that are similar to the ones that they struggled with on the exam.  Watch your students apply what they have learned!
  • Build time for post-exam reviews into your course design and your syllabus.
  • Anticipate review content by identifying concepts that have been consistently challenging for students in the past.

Overall, while it may be tempting to skip the post-exam review in order to move on to new content, Dr. Marconi warns that by doing so, you could be missing a powerful teaching moment.

Do you have post-exam review strategies to share?   We’d love to hear them!  (edutech@chapman.edu)

Wishing you a wonderful week!