Essays About Objectives

" Perhaps the reason is that teachers, as well as students, do not appreciate the advantages of the essay.

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Students study more efficiently in preparing for an essay test.

Research has shown that students generally spend less time on rote memorization of material when they study for an essay exam rather than a multiple-choice exam (e.g., Mayer 1975; Shavelson and Stern 1981).

(Be careful, however, not to "throw together" a list of essay questions.) Disadvantages of the Essay Essays are (very) time-consuming to grade.

To garner the full benefits of including essays on your tests, you must allot sufficient time to read and comment on the students' responses.

Unfortunately, many of these students discover too late that their writing skill in the "real world"--whether it is in the form of a memo, a proposal, or a report--is the difference between success or failure in their profession. Your feedback on an essay can help students form insights into the subject material, organizational skills, and writing skills. Essays, however, can reveal the depth and breadth of students' knowledge, as well as erroneous conclusions that are drawn. Good multiple-choice exams are extremely time-consuming to prepare.

The essay, however, requires much less preparation.

Simply scanning a response and assigning it a numerical grade will not close the learning cycle.

Students quickly learn how to study for your exams!

If you know whose paper is being evaluated, the grade may reflect personal feelings for that student, or may reflect influence from past grades.

For example, if the student received an A on a past exam, you may tend to give a higher grade than is actually deserved on this exam (and vice versa if a student had received an F).


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