Starting in Fall 2013 math faculty worked on developing a complete common final exam to be required to be given by adjuncts and as an option for full time faculty. The first semester that it was widely used was Spring 2014 Since the first implementation, the questions have been reviewed and changes have been made as necessary. One of the purposes of the common final is to give instructors guidance on the competencies that are most important. Another purpose is to identify where students are doing well and also not so well so that we as instructors can adjust our teaching. Each instructor receives their individual reports as so they can compare their data from semester to semester.
The current version of the final exam consists of 23 (#1-23) ‘no calculator allowed’ questions and 23 (#24-46) ‘calculator allowed’ questions. They are all multiple choice except for #45 is free response. The number of choices on each varies from 3 to 10, including a choice of “other”.
The department chair sends out a reminder and instructions a few weeks before final exam week.
Sarah, As I mentioned in my other CATS comment.... I am glad to see that a discipline has such detailed program level assessment. I hope I can work on Sociology more in the Fall for program level assessment. You have inspired me! Smiles, Olga
Kudos again to math folk. A common final has so much potential for individual faculty members, for course level, and for discipline level all to monitor and adjust. For true completion of the action research cycle, have any changes been implemented at those levels?
Thank you for taking time to submit for both common finals. I really think that at the all adjunct meeting in the Fall and Spring, we need to have a seperate workshop that goes over the results and brain storms things we can try differently. Another idea is to have a Saturday workshop. The CTL may be able to support funds for this.
Good to see common finals being used. I think sharing some faculty examples of how faculty have changed or adjusted their instructional strategies based on the results would help demonstrate how common finals result in meaningful change. Thanks for posting this information!
Rene, I agree but feel it is important to incorporate the adjunct faculty (as Becky mentions above) because often I am the only residential faculty teaching this course. Therefore, I only receive feedback from the adjuncts that I interact with on a regular basis. When we first implemented the final exam, I would email all the faculty and create changes based on their feedback.