Mandatory coursework assignments can be, and should be, eliminated!


Publication date


Series/Report no

European Journal of Engineering Education;Volume 42, 2017 - Issue 6


Taylor & Francis

Document type


Formative assessment can serve as a catalyst for increased student effort and student learning. Yet, many engineering degree programs are dominated by summative assessment and make limited use of formative assessment. The present case study serves as an example on how formative assessment can be used strategically to increase student effort and improve student learning. Within five courses of an engineering bachelor degree program in Norway, the mandatory coursework assignments were removed and replaced by formative-only assessment. To facilitate the formative assessment, weekly student peer-assessment sessions were introduced. The main findings include an increase in student study hours and improved student performance on the examinations. Finally, interviews were conducted by an external consultant in an effort to identify key factors that attributed to the positive outcome.




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