A steep learning curve is introduced by early emphasis on tools and techniques during science and engineering courses needed for hands-on, practical laboratory experiences. Associated discrepancies between a student’s perceived theoretical background and the practical application of that background knowledge leads to different study behaviours during quizzes and exams:
1. Those who have correctly taken into account the complexity level of each course component.
2. Those who believe they have taken the complexity changes into account; but need to study and seek mentoring because they have not.
3. Those who believe they are not coping with the complexity changes but are in fact doing well; perhaps these students should be moving some study time onto other course exams.
To assist students in more accurately determining into which category they currently fall, we introduced a Self-Evaluation Learning Framework for use In Exams and quizzes – SELFIE. Following a decade of using an ad-hoc SELFIE and the increased interest in the advantages of self-assessment at the university level [1, 2], we have formalized the approach . We present results from student self-analysis during midterm and final exams. We detail one approach to addressing student concerns about their self-evaluation – a “Make up your own question and answer it” question during final exams. Designed to provide an opportunity to boost marks for students interested in the course material but struggling, the Make-Your-Own Question has proved popular for students who want to be remembered by the instructor and get a good job or internship reference.