Give me a coffee break! Pilot study on improving exam performance and reducing student stress

Nelson Granja, Miguel Andrés Guerra, Vanessa Guerra

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículo de la conferenciarevisión exhaustiva

8 Citas (Scopus)


Traditional exams are widely used to assess students' acquired knowledge in engineering courses, and although traditional exams have a purpose and a role, it is also known that they bring different levels of stress and anxiety to students, which can result in an inaccurate reflection of students' knowledge or even poor performance. Although research shows this type of exam may not be adequate for all types of students, little is known about how to improve traditional exam assessment experiences. This pilot study aims to design an intervention-a coffee break during an exam-to help reduce students' stress and anxiety levels and improve their exam performance. To assess the intervention, the authors used a qualitative approach to learn about students' perceptions of the impact on their stress levels of including a coffee break in the exam. Open- and closed-ended questions were conducted during four phases: the days prior to the exam, and during the examination-before, during, and after the coffee break. Results of this pilot study suggest that introducing a coffee break during a traditional exam lowers students' levels of stress, reduces their fear of failure, and improves students' performance. The authors discuss the possible factors driving the results, next steps and explore the avenues academia could take to form better assessment methods. Implications for research and practice are provided.

Idioma originalInglés
PublicaciónASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
EstadoPublicada - 23 ago. 2022
Evento129th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Excellence Through Diversity, ASEE 2022 - Minneapolis, Estados Unidos
Duración: 26 jun. 202229 jun. 2022


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