Unless required by industry accreditation bodies, Chancellor Institute subjects do not include ‘finals’ / ‘final exams.’

Final exams are a staple of the formal education experience, but they may not be the best way to evaluate student learning. Here are a few reasons why institutions should consider moving away from final exams:

  1. Final exams often only test short-term retention. Students may be able to cram for a final and do well on the exam, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have a deep understanding of the material. Other forms of assessment, such as practical projects, can better gauge a student’s understanding of the course material.
  2. Final exams can be stressful for students. The pressure of one big exam can be overwhelming for some students, and the stress can negatively impact their performance. In addition, students may be more likely to cheat or engage in other unethical behaviors if they feel that the stakes are too high.
  3. Final exams can be unfair to certain students. Some students may have test-taking anxiety or other conditions that make it difficult for them to perform well on exams. In addition, students who have a lot going on outside of class, such as work or family obligations, may have a harder time preparing for final exams.
  4. Final exams can discourage active learning. When students know that they will be tested on the material at the end of the term, they may be less likely to engage with the material during the term. This can lead to a less effective learning experience for the student.

Overall, while final exams have been a traditional way of evaluating students’ understanding of course materials, it is not the only way and not always the best way. Institutions should consider alternative forms of assessment that can better measure student learning and engagement. These forms of assessments can include take home papers, projects, presentations, and portfolio evaluations that are spread out throughout the semester, rather than just being focused on one final exam.