Exams

Location: Assignment Tab in the General Channel, Flipgrid Tab in the Unit Channel

Exams will cover the content found in the reading, textbook questions, problem sets, and synthesis questions. Exams are written assessments that will follow the Claim-Evidence-Reasoning format. Everyone will be able to submit the Exam regardless of the content that has been submitted prior.

Exams will each cover 2 weeks of material and will not be cumulative (but note that material will build on previous content, so knowledge gained in earlier units cannot be forgotten).

All course materials (e.g., textbook, problem sets, notes) can be used during the Exams, but collaborating with classmates is not allowed on the first part of the assignment. A first version of your response will be submitted, and then you will take part in a Flipgrid discussion about your responses with your classmates, after which you can revise your original answer and re-submit.

The second submission of the Exam will be scored, and instructors will provide feedback on responses. The assignment can then be revised and resubmitted for regrading. The highest score earned will be the final score (i.e., grades are not averaged together).

Learning Reflections

Location: Assignment Tab in the General Channel

One of the best study techniques to learn is metacognition, or the practice of being aware and reflecting on your own thinking and learning. The Reflections will ask you to evaluate your work preparing for and performance on the Exams.

Suggested Work Schedule

The Exam questions will post on Sunday. The first version of the Exam and the Flipgrid post are due on Wednesday. The final version is due on Saturday.

Note: I try to overlap Exam assignments with the weekend to help with student flexibility of other classes, work schedules, etc… If you do not want to work on the weekend, the exam is not designed to take an entire week of work. Although Exams in the class are not structured like traditional, timed exams, exam preparation should be similar to help prepare you for answering the questions in an efficient manner.

  • Sunday: Receive questions
  • Sunday through Wednesday: Fully answer the four Claim-Evidence-Reasoning questions on your own (no collaboration with classmates, but course materials are allowed)
  • Wednesday: Submit Version 1 assignment in Teams and post Flipgrid video
  • Thursday through Saturday: Watch classmates’ Flipgrid videos. Engage with others if you have questions or comments. Use the video to revise and improve upon your Version 1 responses
  • Saturday: Submit Version 2 assignment

Academic Responsibility

It is the responsibility of each student to generate original work for all assignments. This means all submitted work must be in your own words. Plagiarizing from any of, but not limited to, the internet, readings, videos, popular press articles, other students, and/or research articles is grounds for receiving a zero for that assignment. IMPORTANT: This means that even though you are working in teams, the work you submit must be in your own words. Please see Part : Course Policies for more information.

Why this Structure?

Why is the exam structured this way? Two reasons: 

Learning how to form an argument based on data is a critical skill all scientists should have. It is the foundation for all research. It is a component of everything from basic science literacy to diagnosing a patient.

Scientists are not independent, isolated professionals. Everything we do, we collaborate. Lab groups design and complete research projects; medical teams diagnose and tend to patients; teachers design and share curriculum to best serve students; all scientists share ideas and findings at conferences or in journals. Collaboration is an important component of succeeding as a scientist. 

The goal of the exams is to give students a simplified example of real life work.