Essay Question Formative Assessments in Large Section Courses: Two Studies Illustrating Easy and Effective Use

Exploring Learning & Teaching in Higher Education 349 (Mang Li & Yong Zhao, eds. 2015).

Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-16

23 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2015

See all articles by Andrea Anne Curcio

Andrea Anne Curcio

Georgia State University - College of Law

Gregory Todd Jones

University of Georgia - Terry College of Business; Georgia State University - Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution; Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Tanya Washington

Georgia State University - College of Law

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Do formative assessments, via practice exercises accompanied by generalized feedback, make a difference in student final essay and short-answer exam performance? If so, does the practice help some students more than others? We sought to answer these questions in two studies performed with law students. We also sought to devise a duplicable model for examining those same questions across disciplines. Finally, we hoped to develop an easily workable method to provide practice and feedback to large section courses without unduly burdening faculty. This chapter discusses our findings that practice exercises and generalized feedback formative assessments can be done in large section courses with minimal additional professorial work, and that the effects of that practice can be easily studied. The chapter also discusses our findings that although practice exercises accompanied by annotated model answers and grading rubrics had a positive effect on student final-exam performance on essay questions and short-essay/short-answer test questions, the effects of the practice and feedback did not benefit all students equally – the students with the highest grade predictors received the greatest benefit from the formative assessments. This chapter explains the work and its implications for student learning as well as for future research.

Keywords: education, assessment, exam, essay questions, formative assessment, legal education, higher education, teaching

JEL Classification: I20, I29, K00, Z00

Suggested Citation

Curcio, Andrea Anne and Jones, Gregory Todd and Washington, Tanya, Essay Question Formative Assessments in Large Section Courses: Two Studies Illustrating Easy and Effective Use (2015). Exploring Learning & Teaching in Higher Education 349 (Mang Li & Yong Zhao, eds. 2015)., Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-16, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2617011

Andrea Anne Curcio (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

Gregory Todd Jones

University of Georgia - Terry College of Business ( email )

Brooks Hall
Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States

Georgia State University - Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution ( email )

PO Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

Tanya Washington

Georgia State University - College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
112
Abstract Views
977
rank
301,622
PlumX Metrics