At a Glance


  • STEM
  • Physics

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP


  • Engineering Physics

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Individual
  • Group

Type of Tasks

  • Solving problems
  • Taking a quiz & test

Technical Details

Useful Technologies

  • Scratch cards


  • Multiple class periods (2-3 classes)

Instructional Purpose

  • Assessment & knowledge refinement


In this activity, students complete a two-stage exam using IF-AT scratch cards. To begin, students complete a regular test containing long answer and conceptual questions. This is completed individually (as normal). After the period ends, and prior to the next class, the instructor grades the tests and determines whether the students performed poorly enough to warrant a second stage (if not, the activity ends here and the tests are returned as normal).

If the second stage is to be completed, prior the next class the instructor prepares a multiple choice version of the test the students have just completed. All questions remain the same, but the most common incorrect answers are given as possible answers along with the correct one, and the test is formatted for use with IF-AT scratch cards.

The following class, students are split into groups of 3-4. Each is given a scratch card. In their groups, students discuss their solutions to each problem, determining which is correct and coming to a consensus. They then use a coin to scratch off the corresponding entry on the scratch card, which reveals whether or not they chose correctly. If the students reveal an incorrect answer, they may attempt the question again until they reveal the correct answer, however they are graded with steep penalties for revealing multiple answers. The results of the second stage allow them to regain a portion of their lost grades.

Instructional Objectives

Students review the results of their test, analyzing and discussing their responses.

Workflow & Materials


Activity Workflow

View on CourseFlow

Contributor's Notes

Jonathon Sumner

Jonathon Sumner

Dawson College, Montreal


This engages students in reviewing the test material. When taking up tests on the blackboard, students rarely pay attention and the instructor tends to make the solutions look easy. The two-stage exam instead forces students to discuss and think about their responses.
The faster turnaround on the test also ensures that when students leave they know the right answers, as opposed to getting test results back a week later (when they have already forgotten the content of the questions).


IF-ATs take some time to prepare, and require that the test answers be matched to the scratch cards. This can be somewhat labour-intensive.
Since all groups have the same test, the sharing of responses between groups can be a concern. This can be solved by having multiple versions of the final IF-AT test.


The second stage is not needed if the performance on the first stage was great.
Having steep penalties for uncovering incorrect answers generates great arguments and discussions, ensuring students feel very invested in the process.
Typically this allows students to make up (at most) 25% of their lost grades. For example, a student with a 60% on their test could increase this to a 70% if their group answers the IF-AT perfectly.

Applied Strategies


Leave a comment! Activities get better when we receive feedback and understand how they might be adapted and reused. Please let us know what you think after using this Activity, or if you have questions about how it might be used differently.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *