Is a Good Exam Broad or Deep?
It should be obvious that writing exams is much more pleasant than grading them. Still, nagging questions dog the enterprise, making it difficult to get the job done. The hardest, for me, is whether to test broadly (i.e., a fair sample of every issue the course covers) or deeply (a few issues, with lots of factual nuance and policy twists). The problem is that I think that students and teachers have different preferences. Should I trump students’ preferences, work to debias them, or satisfy them?
Maybe this problem is all theory, and no evidence. Let’s take a poll, to get some “data” on point.