Saturday, January 21, 2006

Legalized Cheating

There's a great article in today's Wall Street Journal about legalized cheating in schools. The article is only available for subscribers though, :-(

Finally, some educators are making sense and allowing students to use the internet during tests.

I've always hated memorization.

Once you are out in 'the real world' you'll be able to look things up, so why not allow students to look things up during tests?


  1. Anonymous10:31 AM

    What is the point of a test when you provide the answers? Do we need to know anything anymore?

  2. You aren't providing the answers. You are teaching students how to learn on their own.

    You are giving htem the tools to be successful in life.

  3. If you don't know something what do you do? You look it up. I think it's a great idea.

  4. I agree with your point. If used the right way, kids could still learn. Plus, having had to search for the answer maybe they'll retain it longer than simply memorizing for a test? I know I forgot most everything after I took a test.

  5. teachers are not the ones who decide to give tests. we give tests because of administration. because some idiot who knows nothing about education passed a law. the law says that students should take lots and lots of tests and therefore we'll be able to monitor student progress.

    you're right. that's not how the world works. school should match real life.

  6. Well that is what they do in college often...

    But it really doesnt make sense for many topics. Because you do need to know some basic ideas and facts from memory.

    There is really a time and place for both. You would agree that a person shouldnt cheat on a programming project with basic work by just dling a program online. They will never learn the logic and mechanics of the topic.


  7. Tsts are designed to be answered in a way that shows your technique, ability and skills in a subject area such as being able to write an essay in a particular style or to apply your knowledge of the subject to a problem, not your ability to memorise lists of facts. For the subjects that require the memorisation of lists of facts the tests should be altered so that using a computer is not necessary. To try and use a omputer in an exam tests a different range of skills such as the ability to find precise information on the internet, so introducing computers to exams would completely contradict the idea of exams testing particular subject areas as it would change the whole way people approached exams and those getting the highest marks would still be those who didn't use the computers. Interesting idea though...

  8. Anonymous4:46 PM

    Tests as an additional learning opportunity...

    --As a retired educator who was innovative while in the trenches, I allowed students to take an exam and answer every question they could. They could then swap writing instruments with me and use their textbooks, notes, whatever. They received 1/2 credit for answers recorded with second color of ink. Students loved it. They learned. All was good with the world. They could just as easily use computers, ipods, etc.

    I believe we should consider revising our testing policies. Could we do any worse in the public schools than we are doing now? When 60% of students entering college reportedly require remediation, we're already in the hole and what we're doing obviously isn't working. It's time for change.