Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Lowering Standards

When you give predominantly A's anyway, and you reduce the general education curriculum to mere pablum (or worse, indoctrination) as opposed to actually teaching something, it's no surprise that the idea of giving a final exam would go the way of the dodo:

Across the country, there is growing evidence that final exams — once considered so important that universities named a week after them — are being abandoned or diminished, replaced by take-home tests, papers, projects, or group presentations. Anecdotally, longtime professors say they have been noticing the trend for years. And now, thanks to a recent discussion at Harvard University, there are statistics that make clear just how much the landscape has changed.


Ellen K said...

I hate leaving the majority of a grade to one exam. I would much rather grade based on a series of tests or projects. In my experience, those classes which rely on just one or two tests to assess a grade were among the most boring and their teachers were the least prepared or inventive among the faculty. While there needs to be a way to ascertain what knowledge a student possesses, I am not sure a test, especially one given on a computer, does a good job.

Darren said...

I don't think that anyone's suggesting that a grade come *primarily* from a final exam, merely that there *be* a final exam.