ERIC Number: ED405034
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
TQM in Class: From Disaster to Success in Essay Exams in Introductory Psychology.
In response to that fact that, since 1991, almost 60% of students had received failing grades on midterm exams in a general psychology course, the instructor undertook a project to apply principles of total quality management (TQM) to identify the causes of poor achievement. Efforts ware made to help students discover their mistakes, and thus correct them, by suggesting that they take make up tests and set up individual conferences with the instructor regarding the exams. In the conferences, which were held with over 100 students, the instructor noted students' improvement on the makeup exams, but asked students to consider why they had done so poorly on the original midterm. Student responses included failure to study course materials, poor comprehension of course topics, lack of motivation, poor writing and organizational skills, and preferences for multiple choice exams over essay tests. The instructor also sought to implement collective decision-making techniques by encouraging students to participate in the development of essay exam questions for the final exam. Students worked in groups to develop questions, worked with the instructor to polish the best 10 to 15 questions, and then took the final exam that they had collaboratively prepared. The use of group activities and collective decision-making helped promote a strong sense of shared identity and allowed students to take responsibility for their own learning. Contains 10 references. (BCY)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of the Annual Conference on Undergraduate Teaching of Psychology (10th, Ellenville, NY, March 20-22, 1996); see JC 970 128.