Gilley Two Stage Exams (2017 Archive)

Two Stage Exams: Learning Together?

60 Minute Interactive Workshop


Brett Gilley – UBC Vancouver
Joss Ives – UBC Vancouver


Exams are typically used for evaluation in post secondary education, two stage exams are a simple technique that changes exams into powerful learning experiences. In two stage exams (aka cooperative exams, group exams, or pyramid exams) students complete a test as individuals and then immediately complete the same, or very similar, test collaboratively in groups of four. The students’ studying, their recent experience with the same questions, and the high stakes environment of the exam create focused and useful discussions among the groups. As an instructor, they are a joy to observe. Retention of material is increased dramatically. At the Vancouver Campus of the University of British Columbia, Two Stage Exams are very popular, used in over 100 classes in a variety of faculties and departments. In this workshop we will discuss the features we believe make these exams successful, and how you can deploy them in your own classes.