Preparing for exams is stressful not only for students, but for instructors as well. Encourage independent learning and help students improve their performance on their exams with a simple solution: Practice.
Practice may not always lead to perfection, but with time and repetition it can build student confidence and understanding. Prepare your students for your next exam with these four practice tips from instructor and Faculty Partner, Katie Culler.
1. Build Study Groups for Your Students
Encouraging students to study is much easier when they have a group to lean on. Before the exam, arrange your students into study groups so they have a pre-selected group to meet with for study support. Within WebAssign you can create your own groups through the “Group Creation Tool,” or allowing the system to randomly assign groups. Once your groups are set, schedule an introductory group work assignment to give your students an opportunity to meet one another and share contact information for future study sessions. Don’t forget to tell your students which group they’re in!
2. Show Students How to Use Class Insights for Practice
My Class Insights is personalized to each student—giving them guidance on which concepts they need to practice based on their own performance on previously assigned and completed work. Show students how to access My Class Insights—on the top right corner of their home screen—and how they can use it to practice a topic. Students can review past questions they’ve answered incorrectly and practice other randomized versions of the questions to improve their skills.
3. Enable the Personal Study Plan when Available
The Personal Study Plan (PSP) available for many textbooks in WebAssign uses short, randomized practice and chapter quizzes to evaluate students’ knowledge of specific concepts and textbook sections. Then it provides personalized suggestions for tutorial materials that address the specific areas students are struggling with. To utilize the PSP:
- First, check if you have a PSP available for your course title. If you do, follow these three steps to enable the PSP for your students.
- Share these Personal Study Plan strategies with your students.
- Bonus: You can customize the topics you’d like your students to to focus on and track individual student performance by chapter.
4. Create a Cumulative Practice Exam
Practice exams are often more effective than study guides because they engage your students in the concepts covered in the exam. Within WebAssign, you can create practice exams using textbook questions with learning support to help students better understand the concept at hand through text, videos and tutorials. The “try another version” functionality also enables students to practice a different version of the question they’re currently working on. Finally, keep track of student engagement in your gradebook and use this data to inform one-on-one discussions with struggling students.
Looking for More Tips?
Keep in mind the following resources that are available to you.