Designing the Traditional Pen and Paper Final, with a Collaborative Twist

May 25, 2014

Source: Tech Rav Blog


While I value tests, I also value student input and would love to find a way to give students greater input in creating their own exams. In a recent exam, I experimented with harnessing two simple educational technology tools, the Learning Management System and Google Docs to do exactly that by giving a pre-assessment assignment in which the class collaboratively created their review sheet for the test. In creating their review assignments, the students did an excellent job discovering the important ideas and details from the units studied. Many of their review items ultimately made it onto the test.


There are a number of reasons that I believe this was a beneficial assignment:

  • Students were given a choice. They could choose to write essay questions, create flash cards and explanations of key phrases, or create a video review. This allowed students to choose a review method that best fit their learning style.

  • All students saw ALL the review items since they were all posted for the entire class on our Edmodo LMS. Students could post links, type their answers on Edmodo, or even write by hand and post a picture of their work. Through our LMS, students collaboratively created their own personalized review sheet.

  • Students were required to do this assignment which counted for 10 points on the exam. This guaranteed that every student put in their best effort.

  • Finally, while I created a much more limited review sheet than usual only listing the units studied and some people and places, through the class review assignment, this review sheet was converted into a shared Google doc where various review items from the Edmodo LMS were posted onto this one document. The review sheet truly became a class created item. Students also posted their own explanations of each of the people and places that I had included on the sheet and even took pictures of the board where students took notes during our review sessions.

One other big advantage of this process was that the night before the exam, everyone was literally on the same page. Students were all reviewing from the same Google doc and many of them messaged me questions when they saw that I was on the doc as well.


Read the entire post on the Tech Rav Blog.

Updated: Jul. 22, 2014