I was talking about the problem of essay exams in large classes recently….

I once was a TA for a history professor who offered a Matching section on the exam—match this quotation to this person, about 6-8 pairs. Students really needed to be able to identify the philosophy expressed and associate it with the right person, and it was a class on Russia, so there were some fine details they needed to recognize (e.g., both Lenin and Trotsky might have said A, but only Trotsky would have said B, and neither A nor B were quotations that had been focused on in class, so they really had to think about what the words meant)—-and in short, it achieved that holy grail of grading, a scantron-able question that demanded real knowledge and analysis from students.

A call for help—anything else you’ve done or seen people do that could act the same way?

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