The effects of second-chance testing on learning outcomes in a first-year STEM course in engineering

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Students entering college in an engineering discipline often struggle in their first semesters. While the reasons for their difficulties may vary, it is often the course assessments (quizzes and exams) that serve as the first “wake-up call.” Many under-performing students are suddenly convinced to reassess their approach to college-level studies. In our large (N > 400) first-year engineering course at the University of Illinois, we have decided to leverage this motivation in a timely manner. Each midterm exam assessment is immediately followed by an opportunity for mastery improvement. Successful completion of that exercise allows for a second-chance test to be taken. We have found that our variety of second-chance testing promotes student learning and improved mastery of the course learning objectives.

In our study, we will look at the mode of mastery improvement exercises and methods for attracting students to these activities. We will discuss our methodology in second-chance testing while providing the rationale for our choices. We follow this with a statistical analysis of the assessment scores and demonstrate the desired effects of second-chance testing as witnessed on the final exam.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1355
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 22 2020
Event2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jun 22 2020Jun 26 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of second-chance testing on learning outcomes in a first-year STEM course in engineering'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this