Pop Quiz: Cumulative knowledge?
Alright, I admit it. I’m practically phoning this one in, but it’s finals week and I’m up to my ears in grading.
Plus I have to write two finals for today!
When I write exams, I try to get the students to use the larger concepts to solve specific problems. I spend some class time demonstrating this and provide them with my learning objectives, so they KNOW which concepts I might use. However, this is a large cognitive load, so I usually only cover a small section of the course and give more exams, like 4-5 a semester.
Some courses though require the students really know the material for the NEXT one they take. For those, I give a cumulative final exam (usually a week after the last unit exam). Some courses are not directly connected to other, later courses, so I never give a cumulative exam.
Here’s my question to you: what value do you see in cumulative exams, either as a teacher or as a student?
The Pop Quiz is a question posed to you, the Scholars of Doubt. Look for it on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the afternoon (ET).