Exam Reviews in Online Courses: Turning Emotion into Understanding

Concurrent Session 7

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

High stakes testing can create a high level of stress and emotion in students that can prevent the student from understanding the question rationale in order to perform better going forward. This discussion will focus on challenges with online exam review as well as strategies for turning emotion into understanding. 


Donna Gregory is an Assistant Professor of Nursing here at Utica College. Donna began her nursing career as a second degree student, earning a BS in Nursing at SUNY Binghamton following a BA in Biology from Ithaca College. She then continued on to a Masters in Nursing with a specialization in Women’s Health and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Old Dominion University. Donna has practiced as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner since 2007, particularly enjoying working in clinics that serve vulnerable and underserved populations. While she does love seeing patients, she has found her true passion in educating the next generation of nurses. Her current research interests are focused on how faculty can increase their positive engagements with students in online settings, which is the topic that she will present on today.
Catherine Brownell Ph.D., RN is the Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Nursing at Utica College. She joined the Department of Nursing in July 2002. She received a Ph.D. from Binghamton University in 2002. Cathy has a B.S. from SUNY Institute of Technology and Masters in Nursing from Syracuse University. Her research interests are in rural and community health as well as interprofessional and online education in nursing. She has presented her research at national and international conferences.

Extended Abstract

This panel discussion will combine perspectives from faculty, instructional design, and academic administration regarding the hot-topic of exam reviews in an online program. In a program where several courses contain high-stake testing, there can be a lot of emotion and stress on the part of the student when it comes time to review their exams. In our experience, this emotion does not allow the student to truly understand the rationale for the right answer or to understand why the answer they selected is not correct. In addition, online exams come with threats to exam integrity related to students capturing pieces of the exams to save and share later. When these problems co-exist, the online team has to work together to create a solution that allows students to review exams and ask questions while preserving the integrity of the exam for future use. At the start of this panel discussion we will review why exam reviews are important to the success of the student and discuss the different types of exams reviews that we have utilized over the past four years. The panel will engage the audience to discuss challenges that exist with exam reviews that are not done in person, but instead of done in the online setting. From there, we will share our current approach to exam reviews and how it has turned an experience that used to be emotional on the part of the student into one that promotes student improvement and success.