So what would make a good final exam? I suggest going in one of two directions. Option one is the essay version. For essays, I recommend a test that consists of one to three short essay questions based on the major themes of the course. But here’s the catch, give the students the grading rubric and the essay questions prior to the testing date. That way they have time to organize their thoughts and create a product that best reflects the depth of their understanding of the course material.
Option two is the multiple choice test. But here I recommend that the test questions come from the items that were missed by the most students on the short-term, common assessments. That way it is possible to determine if the critical areas of the content that needed to be re-taught, were or not.
This series of posts reflects my general thoughts on final exams. What did I miss?