Teaching Innovation Projects


Civil and Environmental Engineering


In many engineering courses, cumulative final exams typically comprise the largest component of a student’s grade. However, from a learner’s perspective, final exams are frequently associated with high levels of stress, which may hinder student performance during the exam period. In this interactive engineering-focused workshop, I will discuss the challenges associated with final exams that are heavily- weighted and propose alternative forms of summative assessment of student learning. Through a demonstration of a survey conducted in a Civil Engineering class at the University of Waterloo, I will demonstrate students’ perspectives on final exams. Furthermore, using data from twenty-one engineering course outlines from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), I will demonstrate common assessment approaches used in engineering courses. The workshop will conclude by asking participants to share ideas for alternatives to heavily-weighted final exams and will introduce some alternative methods of assessment that have been suggested in education literature.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.