Seminars and examinations: students' perceptions of the seminar in their examination revision strategy

Josie Kelly, Mark Farwell, Keith Spicer, Fiona Barlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Students’ performance in examinations is often weaker than in other forms of assessment. Yet it should not be assumed that examination technique is innate or skill based. Successful examination performance calls on students to synthesize information and to demonstrate academic competence. Successful academic performance is primarily concerned with articulatory principles of subject formation and appropriation. However, research into seminars, lectures and examination performances mostly seek to establish a relationship between ‘performance’ and ‘potential’, with much attention focused discretely upon either organizational considerations or the reluctant learner. By emphasizing the social construction of learning situations, this project locates the learning process within a notion of collective social experiences and mutual cooperation. In the broader sense it is interested in questions of meaning and understanding and the process by which concepts are constructed and understood. This process depends on ‘ritualization’, ‘participation frameworks’ and ‘embedding’ (Goffman, 1981). Some students experience difficulties in participating in the ritualized behaviour, which may affect their academic development. By seeking to investigate students’ perception of how they use seminars to develop their academic expertise, this project seeks to contribute to our understanding of the learning process, in particular, the relationship between students’ participation in the examination process and assessment strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-235
Number of pages12
JournalInnovations in Education and Training International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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