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Would 'seen' examinations be a healthy compromise? watch

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    I don't wish this to be a debate about examinations vs coursework.However I do believe exams to be a seriously outdated and misled means ofmeasuring ability and intelligent; rather it just a memory test of facts. But at my time at University, I had some exams where there was a 'seenquestion' where I would have time to research and develop a criticallyappreciative argument in regards to the question. The trick however, wasapparently 'remembering' it when you go into the controlled environment.

    But is memorizing the same as learning? I didn't memorize anything, like wholeparagraphs but rather just put to paper what I had learned to come up with awell thought out argument. It was almost like an oral examination and I justhad to write out my answer.

    The marking criteria called for elements of independent research and thought,which does need some element of forward-thinking creativity and not theregurgitation of facts crammed in and memorized to never be thought of again.

    So what do people think? Healthy compromise? Because coursework is not by anymeans perfect and I've certainly came across those cheating the system.

    Let me know!
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    That's a good idea. In the real world when you get a problem you have weeks and many books with which to work on it. Exam conditions of 5 minutes to answer a question never exist in real life.
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    (Original post by Venusian Visitor)
    That's a good idea. In the real world when you get a problem you have weeks and many books with which to work on it. Exam conditions of 5 minutes to answer a question never exist in real life.
    Exactly, and just like in the real world, when it comes down to it, it really is like a test but they're expecting more than just repeated facts but how you manipulate those facts to progress.

    There is no exam to life, employers, clients, customers will want you to know more than waht you've memorised and read but how you can use that information to be creative, innovative and bring it all in to produce something unique.

    Not an idea, actually being used!
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    (Original post by FailedTeacher)
    Exactly, and just like in the real world, when it comes down to it, it really is like a test but they're expecting more than just repeated facts but how you manipulate those facts to progress.

    There is no exam to life, employers, clients, customers will want you to know more than waht you've memorised and read but how you can use that information to be creative, innovative and bring it all in to produce something unique.

    Not an idea, actually being used!
    STEM students are worryingly un-innovative. Never seen one come up with their own ideas.
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    So an assignment where you write your final draft under exam conditions? I don't see how that's much different to a regular assignment. You just have to remember your argument.
    By the end of the course you should be able to do the questions without access to the internet or books.
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    (Original post by morgan8002)
    So an assignment where you write your final draft under exam conditions? I don't see how that's much different to a regular assignment. You just have to remember your argument.
    By the end of the course you should be able to do the questions without access to the internet or books.
    You should know a whole 3/4 course by heart? Seriously?!

    But yeah pretty much that but it expects more than just memorising of facts, like an essay it want's a more unique argument or display of independent thought.

    Traditional exams in opinion are just memory tests.
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    (Original post by FailedTeacher)
    Traditional exams in opinion are just memory tests.
    I don't think so personally. I studied Maths, and all of the questions I got the exams were designed to test your skill in solving a problem you've never seen before, based on experience you've picked up over the year. The questions were never just "list all these facts that you've memorised".

    Certainly exams do have an aspect of testing your memory as well, but you need that in the real world. If you're a teacher and you need to answer a student's question, you can't say every time "I don't remember, let me go away and look it up, then I'll tell you". If you're a surgeon, you can't be flicking through biology textbooks trying to look up which organ goes where. If you're in a foreign country speaking a foreign language, you need to be able to remember what each word means, rather than having time in a conversation to get out a dictionary and look each word up.

    I've never seen a university exam that is just a pure memory test. And even the extent to which they do test your memory, it usually seems to me to be the same as what you can expect when you're using your knowledge in the real world.
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    I don't think so personally. I studied Maths, and all of the questions I got the exams were designed to test your skill in solving a problem you've never seen before, based on experience you've picked up over the year. The questions were never just "list all these facts that you've memorised".

    Certainly exams do have an aspect of testing your memory as well, but you need that in the real world. If you're a teacher and you need to answer a student's question, you can't say every time "I don't remember, let me go away and look it up, then I'll tell you". If you're a surgeon, you can't be flicking through biology textbooks trying to look up which organ goes where. If you're in a foreign country speaking a foreign language, you need to be able to remember what each word means, rather than having time in a conversation to get out a dictionary and look each word up.

    I've never seen a university exam that is just a pure memory test. And even the extent to which they do test your memory, it usually seems to me to be the same as what you can expect when you're using your knowledge in the real world.
    If you're giving a scenario where a mathematical principle would need to be applied, I would get it. As long as you could also state your reasons for using said model and the impacts etc.

    Yes, you can do that. You don't need everything committed to memory and we learn from experiences. I loved finding things out together with children or getting them to teach me.
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    (Original post by FailedTeacher)
    Yes, you can do that. You don't need everything committed to memory and we learn from experiences. I loved finding things out together with children or getting them to teach me.
    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).
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    (Original post by Venusian Visitor)
    STEM students are worryingly un-innovative. Never seen one come up with their own ideas.
    Which students are innovative, in your experience? Can you give examples?
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    (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).
    It depends on your definition of knowledge tbh, I'm more into postmodernism debates and not absolutism. The latter is more about knowing facts and figures whereas the former is about understanding their significance relevant in the moment.

    I'm not impress when people repeat information to me but only when they use that information to create something unique.

    I don't want them to just tell me when Hitler was born but perhaps strike up how things could of been had his birth year been different? What if he was born a woman? Born in Britain?
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    (Original post by FailedTeacher)
    You should know a whole 3/4 course by heart? Seriously?!

    But yeah pretty much that but it expects more than just memorising of facts, like an essay it want's a more unique argument or display of independent thought.

    Traditional exams in opinion are just memory tests.
    The thing is, it's all well and good knowing the key principles while you're still in uni - but what happens a few years down the line when it's not so fresh? People forget stuff. You're wasting your time if you've forgotten a bunch of the foundations in a couple of years. So they get you to learn a bit above and beyond that and be able to remember it, when it's fresh. That way, even if you forget things after you leave, hopefully you should be able to step away from the subject for a couple years and still remember enough.
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    (Original post by JoeTSR)
    The thing is, it's all well and good knowing the key principles while you're still in uni - but what happens a few years down the line when it's not so fresh? People forget stuff. You're wasting your time if you've forgotten a bunch of the foundations in a couple of years. So they get you to learn a bit above and beyond that and be able to remember it, when it's fresh. That way, even if you forget things after you leave, hopefully you should be able to step away from the subject for a couple years and still remember enough.
    Or learn through experiences rather than cramming? Associate the learning? Even better! Learn by seeing, doing, living, feeling, smelling? Great!

    I agree, you can get rusty after a few years and things might of even moved on. But honestly, anything that I've memorised for an exam, like dates, I seriously can't remember. But when I've learned by well, actually learning as accordance with learning theory research, I don't just remember it but I can reflect on that information and transform it into something more than meaningless facts.

    That is how I got a First Class and I did absolutely no memorisation. No sitting down trying to make numbers or facts stick in my head. Hell, I didn't even revise in the traditional sense.
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    (Original post by FailedTeacher)
    Or learn through experiences rather than cramming? Associate the learning? Even better! Learn by seeing, doing, living, feeling, smelling? Great!

    I agree, you can get rusty after a few years and things might of even moved on. But honestly, anything that I've memorised for an exam, like dates, I seriously can't remember. But when I've learned by well, actually learning as accordance with learning theory research, I don't just remember it but I can reflect on that information and transform it into something more than meaningless facts.

    That is how I got a First Class and I did absolutely no memorisation. No sitting down trying to make numbers or facts stick in my head. Hell, I didn't even revise in the traditional sense.
    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.
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    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.

    (Original post by Venusian Visitor)
    STEM students are worryingly un-innovative. Never seen one come up with their own ideas.
    that is an astoundingly ignorant statement
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    (Original post by Venusian Visitor)
    That's a good idea. In the real world when you get a problem you have weeks and many books with which to work on it. Exam conditions of 5 minutes to answer a question never exist in real life.
    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.
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    (Original post by FailedTeacher)
    You should know a whole 3/4 course by heart? Seriously?!

    But yeah pretty much that but it expects more than just memorising of facts, like an essay it want's a more unique argument or display of independent thought.

    Traditional exams in opinion are just memory tests.
    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.
    (Original post by FailedTeacher)
    If you're giving a scenario where a mathematical principle would need to be applied, I would get it. As long as you could also state your reasons for using said model and the impacts etc.
    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.
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    (Original post by Mathstatician)
    Which students are innovative, in your experience? Can you give examples?
    Students who seek out research positions with their professors even though they are undergraduates, students who use what they've learned to create a product and start a business. Obviously not everyone can succeed at this but more students should at least try.
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    (Original post by Venusian Visitor)
    students who use what they've learned to create a product and start a business. Obviously not everyone can succeed at this but more students should at least try.
    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.
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    edit sarcasm
 
 
 
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