1 final exam vs. multiple tests during semester approach.

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What testing method would you prefer?

1. The existing way - 1 final for entire semester's worth of material
8
47%
2. A multiple test approach - perhaps 2-3 throughout semester
9
53%
 
Total votes: 17

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introversional
Posts: 181
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:59 am

1 final exam vs. multiple tests during semester approach.

Postby introversional » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:04 pm

Having just completed my first semester, I can't help but to think this 1 final approach for 15 weeks or so of material is suspect. I think a multiple (2-3+) test approach would promote a deeper understanding and better application of the material instead of the existing archaic single final method. For example, with contracts, the first test can be a detailed examination of contract formation and the more basic, fundamental issues involving offer, acceptance, consideration, and so forth. 3-4 more weeks could pass, then we can have an entire test dedicated to the UCC's firm offer, 2-207, etc. Another one can focus on parol evidence, prom estoppel, restitution, etc. The existing approach doesn't really promote a deep understanding of the material... instead it sort of rewards basic issue spotting, and only a superficial application of the rules.

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ph14
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: 1 final exam vs. multiple tests during semester approach.

Postby ph14 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:24 pm

introversional wrote:Having just completed my first semester, I can't help but to think this 1 final approach for 15 weeks or so of material is suspect. I think a multiple (2-3+) test approach would promote a deeper understanding and better application of the material instead of the existing archaic single final method. For example, with contracts, the first test can be a detailed examination of contract formation and the more basic, fundamental issues involving offer, acceptance, consideration, and so forth. 3-4 more weeks could pass, then we can have an entire test dedicated to the UCC's firm offer, 2-207, etc. Another one can focus on parol evidence, prom estoppel, restitution, etc. The existing approach doesn't really promote a deep understanding of the material... instead it sort of rewards basic issue spotting, and only a superficial application of the rules.


Doesn't matter, the single final isn't used because it is the best pedagogical method. It's so the professor only has to grade (and write) only 1 exam.

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ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: 1 final exam vs. multiple tests during semester approach.

Postby ph14 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:24 pm

introversional wrote:Having just completed my first semester, I can't help but to think this 1 final approach for 15 weeks or so of material is suspect. I think a multiple (2-3+) test approach would promote a deeper understanding and better application of the material instead of the existing archaic single final method. For example, with contracts, the first test can be a detailed examination of contract formation and the more basic, fundamental issues involving offer, acceptance, consideration, and so forth. 3-4 more weeks could pass, then we can have an entire test dedicated to the UCC's firm offer, 2-207, etc. Another one can focus on parol evidence, prom estoppel, restitution, etc. The existing approach doesn't really promote a deep understanding of the material... instead it sort of rewards basic issue spotting, and only a superficial application of the rules.


Doesn't matter, the single final isn't used because it is the best pedagogical method. It's so the professor only has to grade (and write) only 1 exam.

ap1987
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:50 pm

Re: 1 final exam vs. multiple tests during semester approach.

Postby ap1987 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:26 pm

Isn't the bar only one exam (aside c&f test).

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Mce252
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Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:43 pm

Re: 1 final exam vs. multiple tests during semester approach.

Postby Mce252 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:32 pm

Multiple tests would probably more effective overall from an educator's standpoint. But I like the current system because I don't need multiple tests to stay motivated. I think more students would perform better if they had more nearsighted goals throughout the semester. This doesn't bode well for those who are going to perform at a high level regardless.

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kalvano
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: 1 final exam vs. multiple tests during semester approach.

Postby kalvano » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:40 pm

This is so law professors can do as little work as possible actually related to teaching, not because it's a better method.

While we're at it, if you want to talk about truly learning stuff, dump the curve.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:36 am

Re: 1 final exam vs. multiple tests during semester approach.

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:54 pm

In my junior and senior year of college, I noticed that most of my classes had 3 exams. At first I didn't like it (having to study for a third exam instead of the simple midterm/final) but it grew on me because the quantity of the material was much more manageable and also allowed me to study the material more deeply, leading to both a better understanding and an ability to write more on the actual test.

The fact is, in law school, the one final for 100% of the grade is similar to the SAT in its result. An argument with the SAT is that some smart students are harmed by it because they do well in school but do not perform well on standardized examinations. But in the end, the majority of bright students will do well (the 4.0, 1000 SAT score is an outlier). Likewise, while having one final exam may harm a few intelligent students who would have otherwise done well with the multiple exam method, most of the brightest students will do well under the single final method.

It isn't fun knowing that one exam in which I have no prior feedback will count for my entire grade and represent my grasp of the subject matter. It is unnecessarily stressful and IMO not the best way of assessing how people have done. But the fact is law school (at least at the better schools) are filled with brilliant people and you do need some way to weed them out (let's face it, without a curve the entire class at HLS could probably get a 3.5 or higher).




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