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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    Don't know what it's like on Venus but that is so wrong. In a job you often have to solve problems within a day or so entirely on your own initiative. The added complexity is there is sometimes no answer, or you don't have all the information or it's someone else's fault.
    Exactly a day is not 5 minutes and you have a team to work with. Exams test knowledge not ability. You can get 100% on an engineering exam but tasked to build a simple RC plane or bridge over a stream most will goof it up because they only know how to solve perfect textbook problems, they don't know how to make compromise solutions where there is no perfect solutions and their teamwork is completely untested.
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    (Original post by Mathstatician)
    edit sarcasm
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    Yep, Facebook and Google and other brilliant innovative startups were created by art students and not STEM students. How did I not know this before? Thank you for educating me.
    Obviously by saying "more students should try" meant that some do. I was talking about STEM students that I know. I don't know Zuckerberg or Page.
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    (Original post by RussellG)
    You can't pick up 2 people and say "See? Art students are more creative than STEM students". If you want to prove your argument, then you must 'randomly' pick up at least 40+ people from Art and STEM fields, and verify who made innovative works after their graduations/dropouts.

    Otherwise in the same way, I can say Von Neumann, Alan Turing, Donald Davies and other brilliant innovative works were created by STEM alumni. (And without their inventions, facebook and google don't exist)
    he was being sarcastic
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    (Original post by StrangeBanana)
    he was being sarcastic
    Was it really that hard to pickup? :erm:
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    (Original post by StrangeBanana)
    he was being sarcastic
    Yeah, I noticed it lol. Sorry Zacken .
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    (Original post by Venusian Visitor)
    STEM students are worryingly un-innovative. Never seen one come up with their own ideas.
    Disclaimer: I do not endorse this, they're plenty of innovating people out there with STEM degrees and I feel this slightly moves away from the topic at hand. It's not that I feel STEM students are not innovative but rather the testing via traditional examinations does not allow for that opportunity to be so.

    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    Yes I'm sure it's okay to do that sometimes. But equally it's difficult to be a teacher if you have absolutely none of your subject committed to memory. There needs to be a balance between the two, which is why I think it makes sense that exams do contain an aspect of testing your memory (which varies depending on the nature of the subject you're studying).
    I completely agree that there needs to balance but I don't think the recall of facts can really be evidence towards learning, progress and ultimately achievement. I could memorise any facts but showing I understand it is a different story. To be fair, university exams for the most part offer opportunity to show progression rather than just recall facts, it is compulsory education I feel my arguement is best suited for.

    (Original post by JoeTSR)
    You can do that, but I think the goal is to make it so that if you really wanted, you could go away on holiday for a few years and still have a good enough grasp when you come back to do a masters without constantly looking up things you've already learned.

    RE dates, I think that's the point - if you slightly over-teach, then the underlying stuff is easy. With me, one of my access modules was DNA. If you'd just asked me to remember base pairs, it wouldn't have been long before I'd forgotten them. But ask me to remember those, plus RNA, transcription forks and their enzymes, replication, etc, and now, maybe my memory of what DNA topoisomerase/lipase etc do isn't perfect, but ask me what the base pairings are in 10 years and I think I'd be able to tell you.
    Great point although I don't get what you mean by 'over-teach'?

    (Original post by StrangeBanana)
    If exams are just testing how well you can memorise facts (and I'm not convinced all exams are, perhaps OP can give us some examples), they should be changed, not removed altogether (which is what being "seen" amounts to; if it's seen, it's just coursework). Exams should test analytical thinking, problem solving and communication more than rote-learning. You do not need to introduce "seen" examinations to test those things.

    It also has to be said that memorisation isn't somehow evil. You can't solve a trigonometry problem if you don't know what sine does, and you can't argue a case about Kaiser Bill's actions in the first World War unless you have a good knowledge of the period - that includes knowing some dates.


    that is an astoundingly ignorant statement
    I think the recent change to all children knowing their timestables by heart is a fantastic example, why do we need to do that? And why do we need to learn it to the 12 times tables? (Because there used to be 12 shillings in a something or the other way around). Is children chanting the timestables out really learning? History tests can be so much knowing the names, the facts but not so much what that means or what it could of meant, not making links, not showing how that influenced time. Geography is a similar story too. Science subjects I can understand to some degree, the recalling of processes and understanding but I'd like to see people relate to it further. I understood concepts better when relating it to something else. When learning about the heart, I understood it best when I went away and looked at how heart failure occured.

    There are plenty of Scholars, academics and researchers who consider exams being memory tests, for fact recalling and to aid meaningless league tables but I'm not going to list them all. Kelly (2009) book "The Curriculum" is briliantly insightful however and has the added humour of recognising you can get A levels from McDonalds and a chapter called "What politicians know about Education" which is left blank.

    I see what you mean by just coursework but the obvious issue with coursework is people 'copying' of each other and the unique, independence cannot be determined. "Can I have a quick look at your essay" is something I loathe to hear.

    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    Don't know what it's like on Venus but that is so wrong. In a job you often have to solve problems within a day or so entirely on your own initiative. The added complexity is there is sometimes no answer, or you don't have all the information or it's someone else's fault.
    True, but you're not in a cold exam hall, filling it out in paper - sometimes in a 'fill in the blank' system. How do you feel any exams you've had has related to real life?

    (Original post by morgan8002)
    It depends on what you mean by a whole course. You just need to know the main statements(each assumption or derived result) in the course as well as any parts of the proofs of the derived results that you wouldn't think of yourself in an exam. Anything else is on your creative thinking.

    I'm not completely sure what you mean by want's. If you mean wants then you can develop a unique argument or display independent thought in an exam. In fact that's the best way to ensure that the arguments and thoughts are your own. You must have some sort of knowledge base on which to do your essay, otherwise what's the point in doing the course?

    In whose opinion? I haven't come across one that is, but I haven't done many university exams yet.

    I guess by principle you mean axiom, lemma or theorem.
    Physical models aren't used in pure mathematics. I don't think you're referring to to type of model that is used.
    The reasons for using an axiom, lemma or theorem are because the assumptions are satisfied and you think it pushes your proof in the right direction. The impact is that your proof is potentially pushed in the right direction. It seems pointless to have to write this every time.
    The point of doing the course is to progress and develop academically, personally and socially; and that is measured at the end by sitting in a cold room for 2 hours spitting out some facts and figures? You do not have that knowledge prior, you've learned it on your educational journey and not you need to use your educational experiences to show how you've grown and evolved. That is what I mean.

    What do you mean by 'know'? What theory of knowledge are you applying? What is knowledge anyway?

    The opinion is of many Scholars, academics, researchers, teachers, lectures but I will not list them all, look above to where I recommend a book by Kelly (2009).


    In none of my work at university was there a right answer and a wrong answer but rather measured on a scale of independent thought, academic, research and cultural value and ultimately, interest.

    I made connections, I connected our Education policy to be driven from politics, the economy. Showing how international affairs is why our children in schools are learning x,y,z. But ultimately, I concluded that examinations are a 21st take on Skinners rats, repeat what I say and you get a treat.
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    (Original post by FailedTeacher)
    Disclaimer: I do not endorse this, they're plenty of innovating people out there with STEM degrees and I feel this slightly moves away from the topic at hand. It's not that I feel STEM students are not innovative but rather the testing via traditional examinations does not allow for that opportunity to be so.



    I completely agree that there needs to balance but I don't think the recall of facts can really be evidence towards learning, progress and ultimately achievement. I could memorise any facts but showing I understand it is a different story. To be fair, university exams for the most part offer opportunity to show progression rather than just recall facts, it is compulsory education I feel my arguement is best suited for.



    Great point although I don't get what you mean by 'over-teach'?



    I think the recent change to all children knowing their timestables by heart is a fantastic example, why do we need to do that? And why do we need to learn it to the 12 times tables? (Because there used to be 12 shillings in a something or the other way around). Is children chanting the timestables out really learning? History tests can be so much knowing the names, the facts but not so much what that means or what it could of meant, not making links, not showing how that influenced time. Geography is a similar story too. Science subjects I can understand to some degree, the recalling of processes and understanding but I'd like to see people relate to it further. I understood concepts better when relating it to something else. When learning about the heart, I understood it best when I went away and looked at how heart failure occured.

    There are plenty of Scholars, academics and researchers who consider exams being memory tests, for fact recalling and to aid meaningless league tables but I'm not going to list them all. Kelly (2009) book "The Curriculum" is briliantly insightful however and has the added humour of recognising you can get A levels from McDonalds and a chapter called "What politicians know about Education" which is left blank.

    I see what you mean by just coursework but the obvious issue with coursework is people 'copying' of each other and the unique, independence cannot be determined. "Can I have a quick look at your essay" is something I loathe to hear.



    True, but you're not in a cold exam hall, filling it out in paper - sometimes in a 'fill in the blank' system. How do you feel any exams you've had has related to real life?



    The point of doing the course is to progress and develop academically, personally and socially; and that is measured at the end by sitting in a cold room for 2 hours spitting out some facts and figures? You do not have that knowledge prior, you've learned it on your educational journey and not you need to use your educational experiences to show how you've grown and evolved. That is what I mean.

    What do you mean by 'know'? What theory of knowledge are you applying? What is knowledge anyway?

    The opinion is of many Scholars, academics, researchers, teachers, lectures but I will not list them all, look above to where I recommend a book by Kelly (2009).


    In none of my work at university was there a right answer and a wrong answer but rather measured on a scale of independent thought, academic, research and cultural value and ultimately, interest.

    I made connections, I connected our Education policy to be driven from politics, the economy. Showing how international affairs is why our children in schools are learning x,y,z. But ultimately, I concluded that examinations are a 21st take on Skinners rats, repeat what I say and you get a treat.
    I supported you and you throw me under the bus.
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    (Original post by Venusian Visitor)
    I supported you and you throw me under the bus.
    Apologies if you feel that way, but I think you hugely misunderstand my rationale; a discussion regarding the value of 'seen' examinations.

    Making assumptions of the character of types of students is not my goal.

    But thank you for your comments, they're interesting.
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    (Original post by FailedTeacher)
    The point of doing the course is to progress and develop academically, personally and socially; and that is measured at the end by sitting in a cold room for 2 hours spitting out some facts and figures? You do not have that knowledge prior, you've learned it on your educational journey and not you need to use your educational experiences to show how you've grown and evolved. That is what I mean.
    Most exams are in late spring or summer so the rooms are usually warm.
    I agree that it is quite odd that most of the marks for most modules come from a single 2-3 hour exam at the end. Spitting out facts and figures I have to disagree with. You might spend 10 minutes writing up some definitions or something, but it's not exactly the main part of the exam.
    Yeah. The specifics are more up to interpretation though. Should you be tested on your general knowledge on the course and ability to solve problems quickly or should you be tested on your ability to consult books and the internet for inspiration, your knowledge of the specific areas that come up in the exam and your ability to think about problems over a long period of time? Both are definitely important things to measure, but the second is already examined in the assignments so it's natural that the first should be assessed in exams.
    Do you mean now, rather than not?
    What do you mean by 'know'? What theory of knowledge are you applying? What is knowledge anyway?
    I mean remember and understand. I'm not applying a theory of knowledge, since the mechanism is irrelevant to the discussion. Stored information.
    The opinion is of many Scholars, academics, researchers, teachers, lectures but I will not list them all, look above to where I recommend a book by Kelly (2009).


    In none of my work at university was there a right answer and a wrong answer but rather measured on a scale of independent thought, academic, research and cultural value and ultimately, interest.

    I made connections, I connected our Education policy to be driven from politics, the economy. Showing how international affairs is why our children in schools are learning x,y,z. But ultimately, I concluded that examinations are a 21st take on Skinners rats, repeat what I say and you get a treat.
    Okay. They have a right to their opinion I guess.
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    (Original post by morgan8002)
    Most exams are in late spring or summer so the rooms are usually warm.
    I agree that it is quite odd that most of the marks for most modules come from a single 2-3 hour exam at the end. Spitting out facts and figures I have to disagree with. You might spend 10 minutes writing up some definitions or something, but it's not exactly the main part of the exam.
    I think for most cases of Higher Education examinations, you're right. As part of my Psychology modules we did have some unseen exams but they asked for much more than key studies but how those studies can be used to argue a point.

    Most cases for compulsory education however, I feel is a lot of spitting out of facts and figures.

    (Original post by morgan8002)
    Yeah. The specifics are more up to interpretation though. Should you be tested on your general knowledge on the course and ability to solve problems quickly or should you be tested on your ability to consult books and the internet for inspiration, your knowledge of the specific areas that come up in the exam and your ability to think about problems over a long period of time? Both are definitely important things to measure, but the second is already examined in the assignments so it's natural that the first should be assessed in exams.
    Test on general knowledge? Is knowledge general or specific? What is ability? Why is it natural? I know these questions I am asking seem repetitive and perhaps regarded as annoying but it's actually myself trying to be clever and reflective. Asking these kind of questions is what I think exams should be asking themselves; questions that call for a higher process of understanding, evaluation, critical reasoning. These things can't be memorised but rather learn't via your own individual understanding, thought and value.

    Wouldn't a blend of the two be exactly what I'm looking for with Seen Examinations? (Maybe with unseen components too)

    (Original post by morgan8002)
    Do you mean now, rather than not?
    Apologies, I did.

    (Original post by morgan8002)
    I mean remember and understand. I'm not applying a theory of knowledge, since the mechanism is irrelevant to the discussion. Stored information.


    Okay. They have a right to their opinion I guess.
    I have an unfair advantage as I studied knowledge extensively and when you get down to it, is a confusing concept as is ability.

    The question I ultimately pose is; do unseen exams truly test knowledge and ability? Whatever those concepts actually mean.
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    (Original post by FailedTeacher)
    Great point although I don't get what you mean by 'over-teach'?
    Just teaching a bit more than the required knowledge, so that even if you forget the extra stuff, you'll still remember the core things you needed to learn.
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    (Original post by FailedTeacher)
    I think the recent change to all children knowing their timestables by heart is a fantastic example, why do we need to do that? And why do we need to learn it to the 12 times tables? (Because there used to be 12 shillings in a something or the other way around). Is children chanting the timestables out really learning? History tests can be so much knowing the names, the facts but not so much what that means or what it could of meant, not making links, not showing how that influenced time. Geography is a similar story too. Science subjects I can understand to some degree, the recalling of processes and understanding but I'd like to see people relate to it further. I understood concepts better when relating it to something else. When learning about the heart, I understood it best when I went away and looked at how heart failure occured.

    There are plenty of Scholars, academics and researchers who consider exams being memory tests, for fact recalling and to aid meaningless league tables but I'm not going to list them all. Kelly (2009) book "The Curriculum" is briliantly insightful however and has the added humour of recognising you can get A levels from McDonalds and a chapter called "What politicians know about Education" which is left blank.

    I see what you mean by just coursework but the obvious issue with coursework is people 'copying' of each other and the unique, independence cannot be determined. "Can I have a quick look at your essay" is something I loathe to hear.
    I think basic arithmetic is important. Well, my experience of GCSE History wasn't just learning dates. You had to learn the important ones, and have a good sense of the timeline of significant events, but there was plenty of analysis, arguing from different viewpoints, considering different ideas. What exactly do you mean by people "relating to it"? You learn the facts and the key principles and you apply them in the exam. Sure, it's great to see how the ideas you're looking at relate to the real world, instead of exam questions, but the extent to which that happens depends on the teacher.

    Not all exams are the same. I have taken plenty of exams which have required thought instead of regurgitating facts, so any "scholar" claiming that exams are all memorisation is simply incorrect. Many schools do care a great deal about test scores and league tables. If they care about that more than whether their pupils are actually learning and developing academically, that's the fault of those schools.

    Yes, that is the issue with coursework, and with "seen" examinations too, which is why real examinations - in which you do not know the questions beforehand - are important.
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    (Original post by FailedTeacher)
    Most cases for compulsory education however, I feel is a lot of spitting out of facts and figures.
    I can't really remember GCSE, so can't comment on that.

    For A-level it really depends on the subject. The exams in physics are mostly doing calculations with not much required knowledge, whereas biology is much more memory based. That's just because of the differences between the fields.
    The exams should definitely be more like university exams, particularly in the creativity required in the questions and also with more union between fields. For example A-level physics only has basic maths in it. Basic calculus isn't even used. There are many areas in physics where the specification has to work hard to explain an area without reference to the underlying mathematics.
    Test on general knowledge? Is knowledge general or specific? What is ability? Why is it natural? I know these questions I am asking seem repetitive and perhaps regarded as annoying but it's actually myself trying to be clever and reflective. Asking these kind of questions is what I think exams should be asking themselves; questions that call for a higher process of understanding, evaluation, critical reasoning. These things can't be memorised but rather learn't via your own individual understanding, thought and value.


    Wouldn't a blend of the two be exactly what I'm looking for with Seen Examinations? (Maybe with unseen components too)
    What I meant was that in an unseen exam you need to know every major point for the whole course in case it comes up, whereas for a seen exam you just need to know those that actually come up and revise those particular areas if necessary.
    It's natural because both of those lists of things that I said before need to be assessed and one of them has already been assessed in the assignments. The amount of time and marks dedicated to each type of assessment can be debated, but you do need both. seen exams and assignments target the second list, whereas unseen exams target the first. You could replace assignments with seen exams, but all you're doing is adding a time constraint on writing it up.
    If you meant learnt, then that's what university exams do.
    Some hybrid between seen and unseen exams could be used, but I don't see the benefit.

    I have an unfair advantage as I studied knowledge extensively and when you get down to it, is a confusing concept as is ability.

    The question I ultimately pose is; do unseen exams truly test knowledge and ability? Whatever those concepts actually mean.
    I don't think it's quite so confusing. You can define knowledge as stored information and hypothetically calculate it by measuring entropy. It's also a lot easier to test for than ability. You can ask someone to define a term or state a theorem or whatever and based on their answer you know whether they know what it means. You can do this for all of the points on the course and assign a boolean based on whether or not the person was able to recall them, then add up all of the results as integers to get a good measure of how much of the course is in the person's memory. There are limitations but any way to test ability is going to be much more open ended.

    They test knowledge for sure. For the questions where you need to state some point covered in the course it's the same as I just said above. For the other questions you need to know the points to even understand the questions and again to formulate your answer. Try calculating the induced electric field around a solenoid if you can't remember Maxwell's equations.
    Ability is a lot harder to think about, particularly since it's so hard to define. They test some aspects of ability whereas assignments and seen exams test others.
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    (Original post by FailedTeacher)
    In none of my work at university was there a right answer and a wrong answer but rather measured on a scale of independent thought, academic, research and cultural value and ultimately, interest.
    That might work in the Arts but not in the Sciences.
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    (Original post by Venusian Visitor)
    STEM students are worryingly un-innovative. Never seen one come up with their own ideas.
    That's a joke, right? Mathematics involves problem solving (aka coming up with solutions to problems) and all of STEM involves mathematics.
 
 
 
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