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? Please check the course outline. The exam is scheduled during the exam period. Once the exam opens on the date specified in eclass, you will 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 as a single document. Please double-space and use a 12-point font.
What is the format? The format consists of three parts: Part A concerns course terms and concepts (like in the midterm exam). Part B is a short answer question (max 250 words) and Part C entails one longer and one essay question.
The exam questions will require you to engage in analysis and synthesis of content across different modules. This means you will not be just summarizing information you’ve learned. Rather, you will have to think, apply your ideas to different questions and examples, and show how the different big ideas, concepts, and theories 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 and your peers’ discussion posts together with the Big Idea Challenges and the mid-term exam 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.
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. Like an exam where you all sit 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 a 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 or reread some lessons.
When it comes to the time actually spent writing, I recommend you do not spend more than 6 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 and have taken notes as suggested early on in this class, it is possible to write the exam 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 various 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. 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
(please note that this video is from 2020; so the dates Daisy mentions do not apply this year. But the tips are just as helpful in 2023 as they were then).
In the fall 2023 term, the exam opens on eclass on Dec 8, 2023 and closes on Dec 15 at 23:59 pm.
Review: Key Course Concepts and Big Ideas
You should be able to explain each of the big ideas from the course. A good explanation offers a broad overview, followed by a more in-depth explanation that refers to lessons and assigned resources. Offering a ‘real world’ example will strengthen your explanation. 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 explain each big idea. If you head over to the “Big Idea Challenge” page you will find there some of the exceptional responses to the Big Idea Challenges to help refresh your memory about each of the big ideas.
Also important are other key concepts that are part of the learning objectives of each module. These usually are elaborated on in the assigned resources.
Please do not use definitions or explanations from sources outside of this course. The exam is about synthesizing your learning in this course. Exams help you to focus on the takeaways of your term’s work.
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. Go over the learning objectives of each module and see if you can explain key terms. You may also find it helpful to review your group’s discussion posts from that module.