We will have two midterm exams this semester but no final exam. Instead, our final project will be a finished research proposal. The purpose of an exam is to give students a chance to organize their knowledge. Exams are thus more about learning than they are about proving to the professors that one has learned the material. (We need that, too, but exams are much more important as teaching tools.)
Each midterm exams will focus on a specific segment of the course:
- The first midterm will focus on research design principles, especially the six tasks required to design a research project.
- The second midterm will focus on data collection and analysis. This includes the various data collection techniques we cover in class, plus quantitative and qualitative data analysis.
Students will have an opportunity to shape these exams. Specifically, each student should turn in two exam questions by the last class session prior to each exam. These questions should be fair tests of what students ought to know by that point in the course. I shall choose the actual exam questions from among these., supplemented with my own questions, as needed.
The first midterm will include one or more opportunities to design research that answers an environmental research question. Students will get a set of these questions in advance, so they have a chance to prepare solid answers. A subset of these questions will appear on the exam, and students will have some choice about which one(s) to tackle.
Click here for a sample Midterm Study Guide from a previous semester, when the two midterms were combined into one. (401kb PDF file)