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Avoid test-design pitfalls, and support student success

Get tips on writing effective exams and fair student assessments at upcoming CTLD Faculty Learning Community.

By Lindsey Coulter

January 22, 2019

Student in biology lab writing paperIf you’re a faculty member, there’s a good chance your syllabi are peppered with quizzes, exams and other student-assessment tools. Get the most out of your assessments by joining other instructors in a faculty learning community focused on Writing Effective Exams and Fair Student Assessments. The FLC is facilitated by Chris Pink, Ph.D., assistant professor of anthropology, and is open to all Metropolitan State University of Denver faculty and staff.

The FLC will focus on creating effective test questions (regardless of academic discipline) and constructing good multiple-choice, true/false, matching and essay questions. Participants will discuss and edit their work and have the opportunity to revise and strengthen their student assessments in a variety of formats.

“Poorly constructed exams tend to negatively impact higher-achieving students more dramatically,” Pink said. “This means some of our hardest-working students suffer the worst effects.”

In contrast, well-written assessments can increase students’ perceptions of educational fairness and their own achievement, which can also affect their chances of degree completion. As such, the FLC aims to give individual participants a better perspective on constructing student assessments, helping them revise at least one exam that they can implement the next time they teach the respective class. On a group level, however, Pink hopes attendees can help develop a succinct assessment guide for use by all University faculty.

The FLC will meet four times in the spring semester. The three remaining dates will be determined at the Feb. 8 session.

To learn more, check out this three-minute video and contact Pink at if you are interested in participating.

Writing Effective Exams and Fair Student Assessments, session 1

Feb. 8

2:30-3:30 p.m.

CN 104

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