aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Are you really testing what you think you are?

I see that there is a major cheating scandal at Harvard, centering on an open-book, take-home final exam given in a well-known pud course. Star athletes are caught up in it. Cheating is wrong, of course, but I think there is something wrong with the test itself.

You see, I once gave an open-book, take-home exam in a course I was teaching as part of a graduate practicum. For six weeks, I taught 8th Grade US History at Honey Creek Junior High School. I gave the kids the exam, but I told them they could work together. They could look everything up. They could ask their grandma for answers. I didn't care. But beware of pooling your ignorance, I said. Sure enough, I found quite a number of tests with identical answers. They were also identically wrong.

You can teach people facts, but you can't fix stupid.

Recent Posts from This Journal

  • What does the sign signify?

    I read an interesting investigative blogpost on the Eagle Rank recently which confirmed my impressions of what is going on with Scouting’s highest…

  • My goodness, has it been that long?

    This spring is the 50th anniversary of my high school graduation. (It’s also the 30th anniversary of my Ph.D. commencement.) The three most useful…

  • On preaching

    My first appointment as a student pastor was in 1976. With only a year of seminary under my belt, I was made the pastor of three churches. Every…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 1 comment