To see or not to see? The effectiveness of seen and unseen exams and end of module assessments in level 2 psychology modules

Briggs, Gemma and Turner, Jim (2017). To see or not to see? The effectiveness of seen and unseen exams and end of module assessments in level 2 psychology modules. OU Scholarship Exchange.

Abstract

In a recent evaluation of the effect of exams compared to End of Module Assessments (EMAs), on student retention and satisfaction, Kaye and Barrett (2016) identified that while students claim to prefer EMAs, no significant differences in module pass rates over a 5 year period were found. Whilst, on the surface, this could be taken as evidence that exams and EMAs offer similar opportunities to students to display their understanding and ability to critically apply module content, other factors including the balance of overall continuous assessment (OCAS) and exam score (OES); approach taken in the final assessment; and the overall student experience need to be considered. In this report, we consider data gathered from the first presentations of two new level 2 psychology modules and compare their outcomes, in terms of pass rates, level of pass and student satisfaction, with two more established modules which have been in presentation for several years. This investigation is focussed on establishing whether the type of final assessment used (seen exam, unseen exam or EMA) affects student performance.

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