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Students' preferences in undergraduate mathematics assessment

Iannone, P.; Simpson, A.

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P. Iannone


Existing research into students' preferences for assessment methods has been developed from a restricted sample: in particular, the voice of students in the ‘hard-pure sciences’ has rarely been heard. We conducted a mixed method study to explore mathematics students' preferences of assessment methods. In contrast to the message from the general assessment literature, we found that mathematics students differentially prefer traditional assessment methods such as closed book examination; they perceive them to be fairer than innovative methods and they perceive traditional methods to be the best discriminators of mathematical ability. We also found that although students prefer to be assessed by traditional methods they are also concerned by the mix of methods they encounter during their degree, suggesting that more account needs to be taken about the students' views of this mix. We discuss the impact of the results on the way general findings about assessment preference should be interpreted.


Iannone, P., & Simpson, A. (2015). Students' preferences in undergraduate mathematics assessment. Studies in Higher Education, 40(6), 1046-1067.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Mar 28, 2014
Publication Date Jul 3, 2015
Deposit Date Aug 28, 2015
Publicly Available Date Sep 28, 2015
Journal Studies in Higher Education
Print ISSN 0307-5079
Electronic ISSN 1470-174X
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Issue 6
Pages 1046-1067
Keywords Students' preferences, Assessment of ability, Undergraduate mathematics, Mixed methods.


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