Examination is an important part of the students’ learning processes, as it defines what the students should focus on, how they spend their time and also in many ways how they assess themselves (“Backwash effect”, Biggs 2007). It is therefore important to be clear on how your teaching relates to the assessment, before choosing the exam form, as different exam forms assess different types of learning objectives – and therefore promote different types of learning.
When teaching innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E), different learning objectives concerning knowledge, skill-sets and competencies are involved, which can cause particular challenges in relation to your course’s exam forms and assessment criteria.
Innovation and entrepreneurship is characterized by iterative and experimental processes, where problems are redefined several times along the way, and where ideas and solutions are continually developed, tested and change direction. Processes that to some extent are characterized by unpredictability, mistakes or coincidences, which the students must continually address and learn from. This can be challenging in academic contexts, especially in connection with exams and predefined learning objectives and assessment criteria.
Our recommendation is therefore that the teacher communicates very clearly to the students what they are assessed on, and what they are not assessed on (see below “On feedback”). At the examination, it must be possible to be assessed based on the formally stated learning objectives. This does not apply to the course description to the same extent. Here you can have stated goals and learning objectives, e.g. co-operation, that are not explicitly assessed at the examination.
It may also be a good idea to prepare and define the assessment criteria together with the students during the course. This can help create good prerequisites for letting the students be part of and learn from their involvement in I&E processes.
There is a lot of material available on exam forms, both related to teaching in general and specifically related to I&E teaching; some of these materials are available in the links at the bottom.
Download materials for inspiration
o A report prepared in collaboration between the 2016 project on I&E at the University of Copenhagen and the Foundation for Entrepreneurship and the Universities ‘ I&E-pedagogical Network (UNIEN): Assessment and evaluation in innovation and entrepreneurship teaching at Danish universities
o The VUE Diagram where you can find a list of the exam forms that are suitable for testing different types of general learning objectives