Logistics group exam - BiologyLeadershipConference

BLC 3/21/10: Using Many Minds to Enhance Learning
Kristine (Tina) Hartney, Cal Poly Pomona
INDIVIDUAL EXAM (distributed to and completed by each class member) ~ 45 minutes
1. Collect all group roster forms before the individual exam period begins.
2. Distribute one exam to each member of the class. During this time, class members will
complete the exam on their own independent of all others.
3. While students are taking the individual test, check group roster forms for consistent
attendance by all group members (at least 2 meetings of at least 1 hour length each time).
Staple a group’s set of roster forms together and write “o.k.” on the top if it meets the
criteria; or “no” if some information is missing or a group (or one or more of its
members) doesn’t meet stated criteria.
4. Once a student has completed his/her exam, he/she will turn the exam and answer sheet
into the proctor at any time during the 45 minute period.
5. Once a student hands in his/her exam and answer sheet they may either (1) pack up and
leave if they are not in a study group, or (2) sit quietly and wait for the study group exam
period to begin. While waiting students may not consult their biology textbook or
biology notes and are not permitted to leave the room except to visit the restroom.
6. A maximum of 3 warnings about remaining quiet while other students complete the
individual exam may be given. If it goes beyond this, then no study group option is
offered to anyone.
GROUP EXAM (distributed to and completed by group members) ~ 30 minutes
1. Once all individual exams and answer sheets have been turned in, the group exam begins.
Encourage students to sit together and form small clusters – however, they may not use
notes or the book. Have each group send one individual to the front of the room to find
their group’s roster forms (now stapled together), check whether their group has the “ok”
to proceed, and then line up on one side of the front desk.
2. In exchange for returning their stapled together group rosters forms to the proctor who
keeps them for future reference, each group receives ONE exam2 which is identical to the
individual test distributed earlier.
3. Working together to answer each question, each group fills out a single answer form3.
Each participating member in the group must put their name on the answer form as no
credit is given to those who fail to do so. Only students present and participating in
taking the study group test should have their name placed on the answer form.
4. The group has until the end of the class period (~30 minutes) to complete the group test.
5. When done, both the exam and answer form must be returned to the proctor. Have a test
key on hand should students be curious about the answers (and they will be!).
6. Bookkeeping: Based on the group’s performance, students are credited with reward
(bonus) points that are added to each group member’s individual score (5 points for a
group score of “A” (90% or better); 4 for “B” (80-89%), 3 for “C” (70-79%), 2 for “D”
(60-69%), 0 for “F” (<60%)).
7. Group scores (as +5, +4, etc.) are transferred to the top of each member’s individual test
form and written next to their individual score. They may add them together to get a total
score (which they usually do), but in my grade book I keep track of them (along with
group score and group name) as separate entities. This helps me keep track of their
participation in a group, who their study partners were, and how well the group as a
whole is doing relative to individual efforts.
Based on a 75 minute class session.
Distributing only one exam compels students to work collaboratively to complete the exam.
Having only one answer form forces students to reach consensus and greatly facilitates bookkeeping.
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These are the words I have added under the header: Grading Criteria to explain the study group
concept, process, and value to students. Group exams are an option for all tests that I give
including the final.
Exams: Two midterm exams (@ 100 pts.) and a final exam (@ 150 pts.) will be given. Exams
will consist of objective types of questions (multiple choice, true/false) that emphasize factual
information, problem solving, connections, and synthesis. Each exam will be completed
individually within the first 45 minutes of the exam period. After this time, official study groups
(see description below) may retake the exam utilizing the collective knowledge of the group to
improve their individual scores (5 "reward" points added for a group score of “A”; 4 for “B”, 3
for “C”, 2 for “D”, 0 for “F”). See the course schedule for examination dates.
Study Groups: Studying as a member of a group can be very beneficial and you are encouraged
to form or join a study group. To be recognized as an “official” study group and qualify to retake
an exam as a group, the study group must:
(1) consist of at least 3 and not more than 7 persons (all of whom are registered for the same
(2) meet as an entire group for at least 1 hour on two separate occasions prior to an exam, and
(3) turn in at least two Group Meeting Rosters (available on Blackboard course site) prior to or
at the time of the exam.
A student may participate in only one official study group at a time. Groups may be dissolved
and reformed after an exam, however, the 2-meeting rule will always be enforced relative to the
next group exam opportunity. The group may find it useful to establish fixed places and times to
meet and contact information should be exchanged among all participants. Study sessions should
be designed to last at least one hour to share notes, discuss course content, solve problems,
complete study guide questions, and/or study for exams. All members of the group must attend
meetings and during that time completely fill out and sign a single Group Roster Form (available
on Blackboard course site). It might be wise to designate a single representative within your
group to keep track of and hand in the group roster forms prior to the exam. In retaking the exam,
the group will fill out a single SCANTRON form with all group members’ names on it. A group
member must participate in retaking the exam in order to receive “reward” points.
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