Collaborate Online to Develop Common Examinations

Each department in my school is developing common examinations for use beginning in the fall. Staff members are comfortable with the underlying principles, but concerned about additional meeting time for exam development. A test generator doesn't seem right for the planning stages of this. What other technology tool(s) could we use?

Common examinations are assessments given to every student who completes a course, regardless of who taught the class. Planning and preparing these examinations is labor intensive at first because teachers must come to agreement about what should be assessed and the degree of difficulty of the exam. But the pay-offs can be great, including increased consistency in course design, instruction, and grading.

There are several free online networking tools staff can use for initial planning, including blogs, wikis, and web-based word processors. These tools make it possible to engage in in-depth conversations without always having to meet face-to-face. Teachers will probably need some training in use of these tools, but the learning curve is fairly low.

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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