“Ditch the Final Exam” – how and why?: A collaboration between UFV’s Teaching and Learning Centre and BC Campus


Written by Claire Hay, UFV Teaching and Learning Specialist

As we all know, the 2020-21 academic year has been different; highlighted by an unexpected pivot to emergency online teaching in March 2020 and then a move to online course delivery (in most instances) for the entire academic year that followed.  With that shift to online learning there have been many conversations around assessments and final exams and how to effectively evaluate student learning in ways that we are not accustomed.  In the Fall of 2020, UFV surveyed faculty about their experiences, and through that process 40% of those surveyed indicated that they had chosen to not use final exams in the evaluation of student learning.  This raised the questions of why and how were faculty doing this?

Fast forward to February 2021 and a collaboration developed between UFV’s Teaching and Learning Centre and BC Campus with Claire Hay and Helena Prins spearheading this initiative for their respective organizations.  The goal of this collaboration was to share the stories of UFV faculty who had “ditched the final exam” and to explore, in their words, the how and why of that decision.  Claire and Helena spoke to Stefania Pizzirani (School of Land Use and Environmental Change), Michael Corman (Sociology), Amea Wilbur (Adult Education), RoseAnne Timbrell (Child, Youth and Family Studies) and Keziah Wallis (Anthropology) to hear their thoughts and ideas.

Stories will be released by BC Campus in their weekly newsletter available at: https://bccampus.ca/news/ and via social media channels.  To date, 2 stories have been published.  In the series launch, we shared the story of Stefania Pizzirani who ditched her final exam in favour of 2 quizzes taking place throughout the semester and offered in an offline format with 12 hours to complete.  Stefania’s story can be found at: https://bccampus.ca/2021/05/04/ditch-the-final-exam-why-how/ .  In our second story, we introduce educators to RoseAnne Timbrell who provides students with choice in ways to demonstrate learning and asks students to respond to ‘exam’ questions throughout the semester.  To learn more from RoseAnne you can find her story at: https://bccampus.ca/2021/05/12/ditch-the-final-exam-part-2-roseanne-timbrell/.  We will share the remaining stories in future editions of our newsletter.