Learning Benefits of Collaborative Exams


Kseniya Garaschuk


In this paper, we present a case study to examine student performance and perceptions of collaborative exams in a first-year calculus course. In line with Vygotsky’s theory, we track students’ individual performance versus group performance to examine how the knowledge is constructed within the active learning community through discussion, collaboration, and communication. We then apply grounded theory to analyze qualitative student comments, allowing themes to emerge from the surveys. Overall, the data reveals widely positive effects of group exams on student learning and improved attitudes in students' perceptions of formal assessment as a learning tool.  We highlight the importance of setting up an appropriate learning environment and opportunities for group work throughout the term.