lunch&LEARN: Investigating the use of oral exams in large-enrollment engineering courses

Oral exams, i.e., one-on-one interview-style questioning by an instructor, are powerful tools for assessing conceptual mastery because of their adaptive dialogic nature. Additionally, beyond merely measuring understanding, they have the potential to actively shape students’ learning strategies, foster reflection on learning and provide instructors with unique insights, making them invaluable components of pedagogical practice. However, concerns regarding validity and bias, but especially scalability to large class sizes often limits their adoption. 

In this lunch&LEARN session, Curt Schurgers will share the results of a recent three-year NSF-funded study at the University of California, San Diego, in which a multi-PI team investigated the use of oral exams in large-enrollment engineering courses as a complement to other assessment approaches.

He will discuss the benefits of oral exams and their impacts on student performance and student motivation. He will also provide general insights, implementation strategies and various practical approaches on how to overcome the scaling issue.

About the speaker: Curt Schurgers is a Teaching Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. His focus is on undergraduate course development, active learning/flipped classrooms, engineering pedagogy, and research experiences for undergraduate students. He also serves as the Faculty Director of the Envision Maker Studio and co-directs Engineers for Exploration (E4E), a program in which undergraduates tackle real-world engineering design challenges in exploration and conservation, and create technologies in collaboration with ecologists, archaeologists and other scientists. He received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Note: This event is hybrid and open to anyone who teaches at EPFL. 

Imported from EPFL Memento