Changing evaluation of a master programme module to improve students' overall achievements

Brabazon, Dermot, Karazi, Shadi and Ahad, Inam Ul (2016) Changing evaluation of a master programme module to improve students' overall achievements.


One of the modules delivered since 2001 in the Mechanical Engineering taught Masters Programme at Dublin City University is entitled “Product Design, Development and Value Analysis”. The module is assessed by two continuous assessments, both worth 10% and by a final exam worth 80%. In 2005, the exam period of this module was increased from 120 minutes to 150 minutes. Additionally, the second continuous assessment assignment was change from a report assignment to a set of 20 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) covering the entire module content. This assessment was run in the final week of the module. The first assignment was and remains as a report assignment. These two modifications were introduced to give the students sufficient time to complete the exam paper, and to provide a more comprehensive evaluation by the students for themselves as to their extent of knowledge on the module content. Average results of continuous assessment, exam marks, and overall marks before and after the change were assessed from 2002 to 2015 and presented in this paper. The two above-mentioned changes brought 14.2% increase in the continuous assessment average results, and 15.7% increase in the final exam marks. Therefore the combined effect of the changes has resulted in a significant positive increase in the student overall achievement within this module. The data and reasons behind these changes are discussed.

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