The Road to Redemption: Reclaiming the Value in Assessment Retention Exams

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Trey Stohlman


A good assessment plan combines many direct and indirect measures to validate the collected data. One often controversial assessment measure comes in the form of retention exams. Although assessment retention exams may come with faults, others advocate for their inclusion in program assessment. Objective-based tests may offer insight to instructors about course objectives that students comprehend well and other concepts that need more attention. This research shows that using retention exams as an assessment measure can generate useful and meaningful data for both the students and the program. Students can learn strengths and weaknesses based on scores. Faculty and programs can learn where gaps may exist within the program. But, whenever a program decides to use retention exams as an assessment tool, faculty members need to be included in the process. Discussions about content need to occur constantly. Exams need to consistently reflect current standards and student learning objectives. And faculty need to stay involved in the process to know exactly where any inconsistencies may lie within their courses, and how they contribute to the students’ overall experience within the program.


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How to Cite
Stohlman, T. (2015). The Road to Redemption: Reclaiming the Value in Assessment Retention Exams. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 15(5), 64-71.
Author Biography

Trey Stohlman, Central Michigan University

Assistant Professor Assessment Coordinator School of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts