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Thursday, December 10 • 11:00am - 11:30am
Collaborative Assessment: Research and Implementation Across Faculties at McMaster

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Students and instructors typically view tests as dreaded but necessary tools for assessment, with little or no intrinsic learning value. Yet an accumulating body of research indicates that test-taking is a potent pedagogical tool from both a formative and summative perspective. In particular, two-stage collaborative testing, wherein students 1) complete a test alone as they normally would, then 2) form small groups to discuss the same questions and resubmit answers for credit, has recently received much attention from researchers and instructors alike. Each stage contributes to a student’s total test score; generally, the individual stage is more heavily weighted to allay fears of “social loafing”.  This collaborative testing format has many advantages over traditional individual testing. Namely, students are incentivized to consider peer feedback while the information is still fresh in memory, learn to effectively convey their logic to others, and gain the opportunity to incorporate many different perspectives on the same topic. At McMaster alone, collaborative testing has been successfully implemented across a range of grade levels, course sizes, and disciplines, including Engineering, Kinesiology, Nursing, Physics, and Psychology—bringing together instructors from different disciplines to collaborate and refine the theory behind collaborative testing while enhancing the experience from a student viewpoint. Qualitative reviews from students are overwhelmingly positive.

In this presentation, we will introduce the background, context, and theory behind collaborative testing, and discuss the findings from a number of collaborative testing initiatives and related studies that have been undertaken recently at McMaster.


Robert Cockcroft

McMaster University

Kevin Dunn

McMaster University

Joe Kim

McMaster University

Sabrina Kirby

McMaster University

Andrew LoGiudice

McMaster University

Terry McCurdy

McMaster University

Kim Volterman

McMaster University

Thursday December 10, 2015 11:00am - 11:30am EST
Meeting Room A

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