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FINAL EXAMS VS FINAL ASSESSMENTS - INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO MEASURE A STUDENT'S ABILITY TO APPLY CONCEPTS AND TECHNIQUES TO REAL WORLD SITUATIONS

J. Padfield

Purdue University (UNITED STATES)
The term "final exam" often invokes memories of sitting at a desk with multi-page test designed to measure a student's ability to recall facts or to use the information presented solve a problem. The term "final assessment" is intended to open up the possibilities of different forms measuring a student's ability to apply the concepts taught in a class that may not rely as heavily on well structured questions on a written exam.

This paper focuses on 2 final assessments (one graduate and one undergraduate) created by the author to measure students' ability to apply course concepts to "real world" situations. The first assessment involved the use of inexpensive products which were purchased and given to graduate students in a quality and productivity class at the end of the semester to assess their ability to find product improvements. The second assessment involved the use of a manufacturer's website to assess the ability of an undergraduate supply chain management class to optimize product distribution.

This paper includes feedback from students and recommendations for further development of these assessment methods.