Requirements, Format, and Submission:
First, let’s begin with the mechanics of the exam. This is a take-home, open-book final exam featuring short answer, long answer, and essay questions. You will have one week to complete it. I have broken this section down into a series of questions for ease of reading.
When is it? Per the course syllabus, the final exam opens at 8 am Monday, April 11th. You will submit the final exam by midnight on 19th April. This means you have 7 days to complete the final exam.
How do I complete the exam? You will write the final exam in a word document and submit it on eClass.
What is the format? The format is short answer (250 words max.), long answer (up to 600 words) and one essay question (approx. 750-1000 words). You will not have a choice of essay questions. The questions will require you to engage in analysis and synthesis of content across different modules. This means you will not be simply summarizing information you’ve learned. Rather, you will have to think, apply your ideas to different questions and examples, and show how different theories and ideas relate to one another.
Do I have access to my notes? Yes, the final exam is open book, so you do not need to download any sneaky spying software. We won’t need to watch you write your exam! You have access to the wgs102.org website, your notes, and all materials on eClass.
How do I prepare? Your discussion posts, Big Idea Challenges, and presentations have been designed to help you prepare for the final exam. This review module is also designed to help you prepare.
Why is this exam format and schedule different than my other courses? Because this is an online course, this course does not have a meeting schedule. This means that this exam is not scheduled by the registrar’s office, whereas some of your other courses have days and times for the final that have been scheduled earlier in November.
How long will it take me? The time it takes you to complete the exam will depend on your individual learning needs and how prepared you feel. Just like an exam where you all sit down in the same room, some of you will be faster, and some will need more time. You might choose to write it in blocks of 45 min each, or one question at at time — do what works for you. Because this is a take-home, open book exam, you may find yourself thinking about your responses to your questions when you are out for a walk, or making breakfast. As such, it is difficult to estimate a precise timeline. Someone who has read everything and taken careful notes may spend less time planning their responses compared to someone who finds they need to review the assigned resources. When it comes to the time actually spent writing, I recommend you do not spend more than 8 hours — more time is not necessarily to your advantage, and I would resist the urge to spend all of your time on this to the neglect of your other courses. If you’re well-prepared, it is possible to write it in 3-4 hours.
What if I have 4 other exams during the same week? All of you will be completing multiple exams during the final exam period, so I have given you 7 full days because I think this will accommodate a variety of schedules and enable you to budget your own time to work on the exam.
What if I work during the final exam period? I know how stressful it is to work when you are going to school! Let your employer know that you are writing final exams during this period, and try to make sure you have enough time set aside to complete this exam. If anything is preventing you from completing the exam, please communicate with us.
What if I have accommodation needs? This exam is designed to accommodate all folks who have documented accessibility concerns including time multipliers, but please set up an office hours appointment with me ASAP if you are concerned that this format is not accessible for you or if you are concerned you will not be able to complete the exam in the timeframe allotted.
What if something happens and I can’t write the exam? If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from writing the exam, let me know as soon as you can. We may need to apply for a grade of incomplete or a deferred final exam through your faculty.
VIDEO: Final Exam Tips
Big Ideas: Review
You should be able to define the big ideas from the course. A good definition offers a broad overview of the concept followed by a more in-depth explanation that refers to lessons and assigned resources. Offering a ‘real world’ example will strengthen your concept definition. It is not enough to offer one or two sentences when defining a ‘big idea’ or key concept — you should elaborate in some depth. Review the big idea lessons and the readings to help you define each concept. Now, head over to the “Big Idea Challenge” page where I have gathered some of your exceptional responses to the Big Idea Challenges to help refresh your memory about each of the big ideas.
Assigned Resources: Review
Before the final exam opens, identify any modules that feel less familiar to you. Perhaps there was a module you had to read really quickly because you were busy with midterms, or you got sick during the semester and missed a few things. Start by reviewing the lessons for those few modules again, and make sure you review the assigned resources. You may also find it helpful to review your group’s discussion posts from that module.