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Adjusting Student Test Preparation Through Their Own Self-assessment

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Best of the NEE

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.134.1 - 25.134.14



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Paper Authors


Brian M. Wade U.S. Military Academy

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Brian Wade graduated from the U.S.Military Academy (USMA) with a bachelor's of science in mechanical engineering in 2001. He earned a master's of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2009. He is a rated Army aviator and has served in various command and staff positions during his Army career. During his tenure at USMA, he has course directed the introductory thermodynamic and fluid dynamics course.

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Robert J. Rabb U.S. Military Academy

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R. Clayton McVay U.S. Military Academy

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Peter Hanlon U.S. Military Academy

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Adjusting Student Test Preparation Through Their Own Self-Assessment This paper presents a means to directly assess student test preparation in both a seniorlevel control engineering course as well as an introductory thermodynamics course. Studentsmust prepare for life-long learning. Student performance shows that certain study materials andactivities are more effective for success in a given course. In the study, students are involved indocumenting and recording their own test preparation, both the activity and the duration. Theyare then shown an anonymous graph of the overall class grades as a function of the testpreparation activity. An example of this is shown below in figure 1. This allows them to adjusttheir test preparation activities throughout the semester, rather than waiting until the end of thesemester. Their exposure to these more frequent and smaller point scale tests allow foradjustments before their grades become difficult to change. The assessment is returned to the student with the test so they can evaluate theirpreparation and its effectiveness. The students compare their study habits and grades with theirpeers to determine if other study tactics resulted in better grades. Initially used as a direct meansfor students to take ownership of the learning process, the students’ individual preparations sheetindirectly provides useful information to the instructors on the efficacy of instructional methods.The specific activities used and their duration allow the instructors to see areas where thestudent’s felt they needed more work. This allows individual instructors to adjust their teachingactivities before the next test or for the following term. The initial assessments of our approach have been very positive. Reminding students ofdifferent preparation activities and having them record specific information and the activityduration allowed the students to adjust their preparation for different tests. The overallassessment of the individuals’ preparation includes course surveys from the students, the scoreson the tests and final exams. Professors have a large number of requirements and not enoughtime to fully assess their pedagogy as thoroughly as they should. Part of improving theeducation process lies with students taking back the responsibility for their own learning.Figure 1 Test Preparation Activity for each letter grade

Wade, B. M., & Rabb, R. J., & McVay, R. C., & Hanlon, P. (2012, June), Adjusting Student Test Preparation Through Their Own Self-assessment Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20894

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