08 Designing Exams

Course schedule

Dates Start time End time Location Coordinator registrations
21 and 22 Nov 2017 09:00 17:00 Wageningen, tba. Vreekamp, Marloes 9 / 14 Registration ended at 08/11/2017
17 and 18 April 2018 09:00 17:00 Wageningen, tba. Torfs, Ellen 10 / 12 Registration ended at 17/03/2018
5 and 6 June 2018 09:00 17:00 Wageningen, tba. Gresnigt, Marca 7 / 12 Registration ended at 05/05/2018
27 & 28 November 2018 09:00 18:00 Wageningen Gresnigt, Marca 10 / 12 Registration ended at 03/11/2018
26 March and 2 April 2019 09:00 15:00 Wageningen Gresnigt, Marca 12 / 12 Registration ended at 05/03/2019
3 & 7 June 2019 09:00 15:00 Wageningen Vreekamp, Marloes 9 / 12 Apply

Course description

Lecturers who want a better balance between: their interim exam, the learning outcomes and question types. And who want to improve on the formulation and grading of their open and closed questions.

Target group & Prerequisites

This course is designed for lecturers with (some) experience in designing written exams.

The course content should tie in with the teaching duties of teachers at Wageningen University:

  • Participants should have experience in administering written exams.
  • Participants should be responsible for designing (part of) the written exam of at least one course for which an exam or draft exam already exists.
  • An up-to-date Assessment Strategy must be available for the course you will be working on.

Learning outcomes

The participant:

  • constructs a specification grid for the exam of his or her own course, which links the learning outcomes and test items
  • formulates items appropriate to the required level of knowledge
  • formulates closed questions and accompanying answer options using the jointly drafted checklist ‘quality of multiple-choice questions’
  • applies the agreed question formulation criteria to the drafting of open-ended questions
  • draws up a model answer  to assess open-ended questions and uses it in the assessment
  • is familiar with Questionmark Perception


The content covers:

  1. Formulating your own open-ended questions using the question formulation criteria
  2. Formulating your own closed questions using the question formulation criteria
  3. Drawing up and using a model answer for open-ended questions
  4. Specification grid: the relationship between exam questions and learning outcomes
  5. Setting the cut-off point for your exam
  6. Using psychometric analysis to improve your exam


This course is set up as a blended learning course: you will go through the theories in your own time, make (preparation) assignments and during the course we will have in depth discussions of how to apply the theories to your own course and you will receive feedback on your assignments.

There are up to five preparation assignments before the start of the course. Depending on your previous knowledge you will need 4 to 7 hours to prepare for this course. The deadline for the preparation assignments is approximatly one week before the start of the course.

Allow also time for some 4 hours of self-study between the two course days.

During the course the focus is on playing an active role yourself. You will be provided with information, which you will then process and apply through discussions, assignments and exercises. Also, time is scheduled to work on your own exam questions and/or specification grid.


You will receive course notes a few weeks before the start of the course.


You will be awarded your certificate at the end of day 2.
Note for UTQ 2.0 participants: you can use this course to work on part 2a of the compulsory UTQ assessment assignment. Therefore, this course is not considered an elective course in the UTQ.


Participation is free for Wageningen University & Research staff involved in teaching WU courses.


We consider registration as final. When cancelled within three weeks before the activity starts, your chair group will be charged all costs of your subscription (€350,-).

If there are less than 8 participants in the course, Educational Staff Development may cancel the course and notify you at the latest 2 weeks before the start of the course.