Asee peer logo

Altering Testing And Project Methodologies To Enhance Learning

Download Paper |


1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.56.1 - 1.56.4



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Ronald Goodnight

author page

Jack Beasley

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1675

Altering Testing and Project Methodologies to Enhance Learning

Ronald Goodnight, Jack Beasley Purdue University


The primary purpose of administering tests and conducting laboratory projects is twofold: (1) to measure the degree of the students’ learning and comprehension, and (2) to enhance learning. Often, the first intended outcome is attained but the second purpose is ignored.

The most prevalent testing procedure is to schedule or announce a test and give the students some idea what material will be included. The students then study the indicated material hoping they will be prepared. Usually, they do not know what type of questions they will encounter so their studying is more generalized than specific, or they may try to memorize everything using their short-term memory ability. Each individual student then completes the written test document. The test is graded by the instructor or assistant, and several days later, the scores are posted using some confidential method. When time is not allocated for students to review the test to learn which specific questions may have been answered wrong, the learning aspect of test administration is defeated.

Often, laboratory and experiential projects are treated similarly. Once they are graded and returned to the students, many days may have passed and the course topic area has changed. Time is not normally allocated for review of the project results.


Four courses in Organizational Leadership and Supervision (OLS) and one Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) course at Purdue University experimented with their test administration, scoring and project procedures. The four OLS courses used fifty item tests which included true-false, multiple-choice, fill-in-the- blank and complete-the-sentence type of questions. During the class session immediately prior to the test, the students were allowed ten minutes to preview the test document. In this way they knew the type of questions which would be asked, as well as the degree and breadth of content to be covered. Each test was closed-book and closed-notes and only covered material introduced since the prior test.

The three EET tests included multiple-choice items, problem calculations and applications. Each test was inclusive of covered material since the beginning of the course; however, use of the textbook and notes was allowed.

Goodnight, R., & Beasley, J. (1996, June), Altering Testing And Project Methodologies To Enhance Learning Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--5885

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 1996 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015