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Continuous Assessment Method on Engineering Physics Courses at TAMK


Engineering physics teachers felt that a more flexible assessment method was needed. Teachers decided to develop a more continuous and more student-centred way to assess students on online physics courses. The aim was also to reduce teachers’ workload regarding assessment. The method is currently used and adapted on online engineering physics courses at Tampere University of Applied Sciences.


Traditionally there are three types of assessment methods used. The first type of assessment is to use one final exam. Homework assignments help students to prepare for the final exam. The second method is to have homework assignments as a part of assessment. The assignments give points which are included in the sum of the total points. The third type of assessment divides the course content into two parts: a mid-term exam and a final exam. These are supplemented with homework assignments. According to the physics teachers these types of assessment were not that flexible, and they did not encourage students to proceed at their own speed. Therefore, a more continuous and more student-centred way was needed. Physics teachers decided to add a continuous assessment part to the final assessment. This continuous assessment part consisted of both weekly exams and measurement assignments. The problem with this type of assessment was the heavy assessment load of weekly exams. Students also asked for the possibility to retake weekly exams.

Good practices

Physics teachers modified the online course, and it was piloted. The weekly exams were replaced with the automated basic level exam. Students could take this online exam as many times as they wanted. They could also choose the time when to take it. With the basic level exam alone, it was possible to pass the course.

The automated basic level exam reduced physics teachers’ work in arranging retake exams. Students spent for a considerably long time in attempting the basic level exam. Currently students are allowed only one attempt per day to encourage them to study between the attempts.

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