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Continuous Evaluation of Student Class Performance Using Group-based, In-class Quizzes

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Assessment I: Developing Assessment Tools

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Niranjan Hemant Desai Purdue University, North Central

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Name: Dr Niranjan Desai
Ph.D Civil Engineering
University of Louisville, USA

MES (Master of Engineering Studies) Civil Engineering
University of Sydney, Australia

BTECH (Bachelor of Technology)
Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India.

Work Experience:
Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, Purdue University North Central (2013 - Present)

Engineering Intern, Watrous Associates Architects, (2011 - 2013)

Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant, University of Louisville, (2006 - 2011)
Tata Bluescope Steel Ltd
Designation: Design Manager

Desai, N., & McGinley, W.M. "A study of the out-of-plane performance of brick veneer wall systems in medium rise buildings under seismic loads." Engineering Structures 48 (2013) 683 694.

Desai, N., & McGinley, W.M. "Effects of brick veneer wall systems loaded in-plane on the seismic response of medium rise buildings." Proc. The 12th Canadian Masonry Symposium, Vancouver, Canada, June 2013.

Alan H. Yorkdale Memorial Award, 2014.

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George Stefanek Purdue University, North Central

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Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology

M.S. BioEngineering, University of Illinois at Chicago

B.S. Purdue University

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This “theory paper” describes a novel technique for the continuous evaluation of student academic performance using in-class quizzes conducted in a unique way. Traditional methods of evaluating student classroom performance in the areas of engineering and technology at the college level typically include weekly homework assignments, exams, quizzes, and semester long projects. Assessment of student performance can be broadly divided into continuous and long-term evaluation. Homework assignments are a conventional indicator of a student’s continuous acquisition of knowledge made in small installments. Exams and projects are typically an indicator of a large amount of effort accumulated over time and provide a means for long-term evaluation.

First, this paper discusses the benefits and drawbacks of the traditional homework-based method of continuous assessment; plagiarism being the main shortcoming, as identified by Haines, et al. in their research which broadly falls within the “Research in Higher Education” theoretical framework. Subsequently, to overcome these drawbacks, a novel technique for continuous evaluation is presented, involving dividing the class into groups (in-class). Students solve short, weekly quizzes covering concepts discussed in class during that week. Quizzes are structured in a unique manner that is atypical of traditional quizzes: Intra-group interaction is permitted. Students are permitted to interact with the instructor if they need guidance or to refresh their memory, since they are being tested on new material. Consequently, they need not adopt an underhanded approach and plagiarize material, which often happens in the case of homework assignments. The goal is to test their comprehension of new material and their ability to grasp new concepts in real-time, not to test their memory. Interaction with their peer or instructor improves their ability to work as a team, and helps to build rapport with their instructor. These interactions tend to have an energizing effect since they can only passively listen to a lecture for a limited amount of time. Also, learning from a team member is beneficial in understanding the subject matter, for both the questioner and questionee. Quizzes are graded on the same day and contribute toward the student’s final grade. Since they comprise only a few basic problems, it’s easy for the instructor to identify the concepts that a student is struggling with. It provides students with regular feedback of their immediate understanding of subject matter; not permitting them to procrastinate by leaving unfinished work to a later date, thereby encouraging personal responsibility and discipline. It is a personalized approach, as opposed to submitting homework assignments, which is less interactive and more impersonal. Finally, it forces them to attend class regularly, and to stay alert in class, since they know they are going to be tested and graded on this material after class. A qualitative, cost-benefit analysis of the group-based “in-class quiz” approach of continuous assessment demonstrated that this approach has more benefits than drawbacks and is potentially more effective in providing the instructor with a continuous evaluation of the student’s understanding of classroom material.

Desai, N. H., & Stefanek, G. (2016, June), Continuous Evaluation of Student Class Performance Using Group-based, In-class Quizzes Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26585

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