Homework, in-class assignments, and midterm exams

How to Cite

Kim, A.S.N., Stevenson, C.R. and Park, L. 2022. Homework, in-class assignments, and midterm exams: Investigating the predictive utility of formative and summative assessments for academic success. Open Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. 2, 1 (Oct. 2022), 92–102. DOI:https://doi.org/10.56230/osotl.18.


Formative assessments can be used more effectively to support students’ learning when coupled with insights about which types of formative assessments are predictive of students’ subsequent learning achievement. In this study, we investigated the predictive utility of students’ grades on homework and in-class assignments for the midterm and final cumulative exam, which were taken as measures of student learning. The data consisted of the grades of 241 undergraduate students for homework, in-class assignments, midterm and final cumulative exams in a variety of psychology courses. Using regression analyses, we found that students’ midterm exam grades were predicted by their grades for homework and in-class assignments completed before the midterm exam. Final cumulative exam grades were predicted by students’ homework and midterm exam grades, but not their in-class assignment grades. These findings suggest that the effectiveness of formative assessments as tools to predict student achievement varies. Additionally, although homework was not as strong of a predictor as the midterm exam, it was still an adequate predictor of final cumulative exam performance. Since homework feedback is provided earlier and often more frequently, in the context of the present courses under investigation, it can be a useful tool in informing educators’ and students’ learning plans early in a course. Future research should investigate further the relation between different types of formative and summative assessments across different instructors, disciplines and institutions.

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Copyright (c) 2022 Alice S. N. Kim, Cassandra Stevenson, Lillian Park